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National Heritage Centre pipped at the post

“I am so proud of the work done by so many people over such a sustained period that led to the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art here at Palace House in Newmarket being selected as a finalist for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017.
 
It is the biggest museum prize in the world and we congratulate our museum colleagues at The Hepworth Wakefield who are very worthy winners. We could not have been more excited to have been short-listed. Obviously we would have been bowled over to win but we already considered ourselves winners just to have been selected as finalists in such exalted company together with Tate Modern, Sir John Soane’s Museum, The Hepworth Wakefield and the Lapworth Museum of Geology. Our short listing has given a huge boost to public awareness of the new National Heritage Centre so we are very grateful to Art Fund for their support in this way.
 
Being a finalist was an acknowledgement of the powerful role the arts and museums can play in transforming the cultural landscape of an area – this project has been vital to the economic regeneration of Newmarket and has involved new and imaginative ways of interpreting collections for the visiting public. Giving visitors the opportunity to encounter the equine heroes of the sport is an important example of how museums can be promoted to new audiences without losing the essence of what makes them special.”
 
The National Heritage Centre was one of five finalists that included Tate Modern, The Hepworth Wakefield, Sir John Soane’s Museum in London and the Lapworth Museum of Geology in Birmingham. Art Fund Museum of the Year is the world’s largest and most prestigious prize for museums, and worth £100,000.