Cooper Gallery shortlisted for national Family Friendly Museum Award

The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley has been shortlisted for the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award, it has been announced.


This is the third nomination for Barnsley Museums in three consecutive years with Experience Barnsley as a previous category winner and Cannon Hall Museum as a previous shortlisted venue.


The charity Kids in Museums has run the prestigious annual award since 2004, recognising the most family friendly heritage sites in the UK. It is the only museum award in the UK to be judged by families.


From late March to early June, families across the UK voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. A panel of museum experts then whittled down hundreds of nominations to a shortlist of 18 heritage attractions.


The Cooper Gallery is vying against two other museums in the Best Accessible Museum category, both from Yorkshire.


The Best Accessible Museum category celebrates museums making excellent efforts to include families with children or young people who have special educational needs and disabilities. Shortlisted museums will also be given feedback on how they can further improve their offer for families.


Jon Finch, Head of Culture and Visitor Economy, said:  "We are delighted and honoured to be shortlisted for this important award.  We have worked had to create an inclusive environment for families of all backgrounds and abilities. We are passionate about making art and culture accessible and enjoyable for everyone, especially children and young people. We would like to thank all the families who have nominated us and supported us and we can’t wait to welcome you soon to the Cooper Gallery!"


At the Cooper Gallery visitors will discover outstanding collections, exciting touring exhibitions and lots of free family activities. Currently on display is the ‘World of Brian Wildsmith’ an exhibition of art and illustrations that will enchant children and parents alike. It celebrates the World-renowned children’s author, artist and illustrator Brian Wildsmith and displays are awash with the vibrant palette and limitless imagination that define Brian's beloved books, including his ABC, The Owl and the Woodpecker, Jungle Party, and many more. 


Over the summer holidays, the finalists will be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the shortlisted museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2024. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.


Follow the Family Friendly Museum Award on social media by following @kidsinmuseums and #FamilyFriendlyMuseum.


The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England.


For more information about the Cooper Gallery visit



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