A gem of an attraction receives top tourism award
Birmingham’s Museum of the Jewellery Quarter receives ‘Best Told Story’ accolade
A new package of group tours to Birmingham’s Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and a national tourism award reaffirm the unique attraction’s position as a must-see for any itinerary covering Birmingham and the West Midlands.
The tours – which include a guided tour of the museum and refreshments in the on-site café – give visitors an insight into the life of a busy Birmingham jeweller; the museum itself is a time capsule, capturing how the original occupants left the Smith & Pepper workshop on their last day of trading.
The museum has recently been awarded the attraction a prestigious ‘Best Told Story’ accolade following a recent assessment under the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme, run by VisitEngland to provide visitors with an independent assessment of the quality of tourist attractions around the country. Those that achieve the high standards required – with unannounced assessors reviewing all aspects of the experience, from quality of the visitor experience, to wheelchair access are awarded Visit England’s Quality Rose Marque, with the highest rated attractions receiving special accolades to celebrate exceptional achievements.
“This accolade is testament to the high standards achieved, which the assessor felt were truly deserving of recognition,” says Pam Foden, head of industry development for VisitEngland who broke the news to the museum’s team.
Oliver Buckley, Museum Manager for Birmingham Museums Trust’s six heritage sites, is delighted with the award. “We’ve been successful in this year’s assessments with all of our heritage sites receiving the Rose Marque, but it is a real testament to the team at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter that we have been singled out for our storytelling. Jewellery making has been an important part of Birmingham’s history for over 200 years, and it is an absolute privilege to be able to demonstrate this to the public in the space that was once one of the top jewellery workshops – it has an unrivalled authenticity that really brings to life the experiences of jewellers who have plied their trade in this part of the city over the last two centuries.”
Indeed, the museum is a genuine ‘time capsule’, with the workshop left exactly as it was on the day that the original occupiers, Smith & Pepper, stopped working. Visitors on a guided tour are given demonstrations of some of the traditional skills that would have been used each day and discover what life was like for a Birmingham jeweller.
“We’re especially geared up for groups of 10-60 people, with packages including private tours and refreshments, making the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter easier than ever to fit into a tour itinerary,” adds Oliver. “These visitors also receive a copy of the latest guidebook – itself an award-winner, having been selected as the best new guidebook in the 2016 Association for Cultural Enterprises awards last month.”
Group visits, at the exclusive rate of £10 per person for group of between 10 and 60 visitors, should be booked by calling 0121 348 8140 or online at www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/jewellery. Group visits can also be combined with a number of other heritage sites in the city operated by Birmingham Museums Trust, including fellow VisitEngland award-winning Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, which was also singled out for a special accolade. Judges praised the quality of its food and drink in the museum’s stunning Edwardian Tearooms.
For further information on visits to the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter or any of the other heritage attractions operated by the Trust around Birmingham, please visit www.birminghammuseums.org.uk
Notes to Editors
Birmingham Museums Trust is an independent charity that manages the city’s museum collection and venues on behalf of Birmingham City Council. It uses the collection of around 800,000 objects to provide a wide range of arts, cultural and historical experiences, events and activities that deliver accessible learning, creativity and enjoyment for citizens and visitors to the city. Most areas of the collection are designated as being of national importance, including the finest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world. Attracting over one million visits a year, the Trust’s venues include Aston Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Blakesley Hall, Museum Collections Centre, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, Thinktank and Weoley Castle. www.birminghammuseums.org.uk
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. It supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, Arts Council England plans to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
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