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AHI 2015 Discover Heritage Awards – Shortlist and Commendations Announced

The Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI) is delighted to announce the shortlist for the AHI 2015 Discover Heritage Awards – for excellence in cultural and natural heritage interpretation in Britain and Ireland – sponsored by Geosho.

AHI received record number 49 entries to the re-launch year of its prestigious awards, now being held biennially. AHI Discover Heritage Awards are the only UK and Irish awards to recognise all types of heritage interpretation. Projects of all shapes, sizes and budgets were entered from England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The quality of interpretation was consistently high, which reflects the strength of heritage interpretation across the UK and Ireland. Shortlisted and commended sites were chosen by a team of interpretation experts from around the UK and Ireland.

And what a range we received! Shortlisted entries pitch the headline-grabbing new visitor centres for Bannockburn and Stonehenge against much smaller Second World War and woodland themed centres in Norfolk and near Pitlochry. The historic properties and museums shortlist sees Georgian royal apartments, a historic ship linked with the Titanic and 1930’s high society contend with each other. The Romans travel through time in a live-acted roadshow and as a mobile phone app. Other shortlisted entries include a shipwreck dive site, a centre of the Industrial Revolution, First World War soldiers’ stories, a re-used red telephone box and the story of Aberaeron as a game.

Bill Bevan, AHI Vice-Chair said: “The number and quality of entrants into the AHI 2015 Discover Heritage Awards made short-listing an exceptionally tough process. The shortlist represents some of the best recent heritage interpretation projects in Britain and Ireland. We are delighted that the shortlist ranges from small to large projects. It is an international badge of excellence whether a site wins, or is shortlisted or commended in one of the categories.”

Shortlisted entries will be visited anonymously over the summer by AHI site judges and the winners will only be announced by AHI patron Loyd Grossman on the night of the gala awards ceremony, held at the AHI conference on the 21st October at the Hilton Central Hotel, Newbury. The recipient of the first AHI Lifetime Achievement Award will also be announced at the ceremony. The awards dinner is sponsored by Haley Sharpe Design.

The AHI Discover Heritage Awards are the only UK and Irish awards to recognise excellence in all types and sizes of heritage interpretation whether held in museums, historic buildings, visitor centres or any type of outdoor location. Any form of media is suitable including exhibition, print, digital, art or live. An eligible project can be small or large. Whether it is a new leaflet or a million-pound visitor centre (or anything in between), the awards celebrate projects that best meet their interpretive aims and successfully communicate their key messages to their audiences.

The full list of shortlisted and commended entries are:

Museums and Historic Properties/Sites, sponsored by Bright 3D.

Shortlisted:

  • Glorious Georges, Queen's State Apartments, Hampton Court Palace – Historic Royal Palaces.
  • Re-Presenting Eltham Palace, Greenwich – English Heritage and ATS Heritage.
  • SS Nomadic & Hamilton Dock, Belfast – Nomadic Charitable Trust and Tandem Partners.

Commended:

  • The Jackie Clarke Collection, Co. Mayo – Mayo County Council and Marttello Media.
  • Visitors Welcome at St Mary’s, Shrewsbury - The Churches Conservation Trust.

Landscapes, forests, nature reserves, parks and gardens, sponsored by The Way.

Shortlisted:

  • Blaenavon Ironworks, a landscape re:imagined, Blaenavon – Cadw and Bright 3D.
  • Walking with Romans, Llandovery - Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and Living Data Labs.

Visitor / Interpretation Centres, sponsored by Bett Associates.

Shortlisted:

  • Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, Stirling – The National Trust for Scotland and Bright White.
  • Langham Dome Visitor Centre, Holt - North Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust and Ugly Studios.
  • Queen’s View Visitor Centre, Loch Tummel, Nr Pitlochry – Forestry Commission Scotland.
  • Stonehenge Environmental Improvements Project, Amesbury – English Heritage.

Commended:

  • The King Richard III Visitor Centre, Leicester – Leicester City Council.
  • The Guildhall, Derry~Londonderry – Derry City Council and Tandem Partners.

Interpretation for a Target Audience, sponsored by Colour Heroes.

Shortlisted:

  • Iona II Dive Trail, Lundy Island – Historic England and Wessex Archaeology.
  • Light Fever, Painting the Fort with Light, Fort Nelson, Fareham – Royal Armouries and Artswork.
  • The Roman Medicine Roadshow, various locations – Wellcome Trust and Big Heritage.

Commended:

  • ‘Our First World War Guardians’ interactive, Leeds - Leeds Museums and Galleries, and My Learning.

Community Projects, sponsored by Canal and River Trust.

  • Nine Men, Nine Lives, One Great War, Sheffield – Walkley Community Centre and inHeritage.
  • Stori Aberaeron Story, Aberaeron - Cymdeithas Aberaeron Society.
  • Tideswell History Box, Tideswell, Derbyshire – Tideswell Living History Group.

Read more about the AHI awards here