Chief Executive of The Mary Rose Trust Helen Bonser Wilton (centre) and her team receive award from Tourism South East.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s Mary Rose Museum has been awarded a coveted Silver in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category at the Beautiful South Awards 2016.
Held at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl last night, the ceremony celebrated the fantastic visitor experiences available across the South and South East of England. Established over 20 years ago, the Beautiful South Awards reward excellence, quality, innovation and customer service.
It’s another feather in the cap for the museum which was an Art Fund Museum of the Year finalist in 2014. The museum reopened to international acclaim this summer. For the first time in 23 years visitors breathe the same air as the Mary Rose. The new-look Mary Rose Museum provides stunning panoramic views of the ship from all nine galleries through floor-to-ceiling glazing on the lower and main decks. On the upper deck visitors enter the Weston Ship Hall via an airlock and are separated from the ship only by a glass balcony. They are treated to a spectacular and new visual way of telling her unique story.
Since reopening the museum has welcomed almost 180,000 visitors.
Paul Griffiths, Head of Operations for The Mary Rose Museum said: “I am delighted and very proud that we were recognised at the Tourism South Awards in the Large Visitor Attraction category so soon after reopening the museum this year - before the ceremony we knew we had done sensationally well to get to the finals night with nominations up 46% this year. It is a great reflection on the amazing team at the Mary Rose and all the work from everyone involved in our project that we were a winner on the night.”
Nigel Smith, Chief Executive of Tourism South East, said, “Achieving excellence isn’t easy – it takes vision, years of commitment, hard work and talented people. All of the finalists can be proud about their achievements and the example they are setting for others to follow. I want to thank headline sponsor Shepherd Neame and the rest of our sponsors who make the Awards possible and the judges who give their time and expertise voluntarily. Sometimes the margin between businesses is tiny and they have the unenviable task of deciding between them.”