Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre is celebrating securing Arts Council Accreditation status following its recent assessment.
Administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the UK Accreditation Partnership, Accreditation is the benchmark for well-run museums and galleries.
The award demonstrates that Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre is well-managed and governed to the nationally agreed industry standard and shows the museum takes proper care of its collections, sharing them with visitors and keeping them safe for future generations.
The Arts Council Accreditation lasts for five years. It opens up exciting funding opportunities, allows museums to host touring exhibitions and gives access to professional advice and support. It also gives confidence to donors and sponsors who may wish to support the museum in preserving heritage and inspiring future generations.
Accreditation covers museums of all types and sizes – from the smallest volunteer-run museums to national museums – and more than 1,700 museums are currently taking part in the scheme across the UK.
Louise Bowen, collections officer for the centre, said: “We are delighted to have received accreditation status again. Our team provide a quality experience which engages visitors with Grimsby’s heritage, while preserving important its historical objects. We will continue to maintain this standard through development and improvement of our displays, exhibitions, and activities.”
The attraction was also assessed by anonymous inspectors from Visit England earlier in the year, to be re-awarded the Visit England Quality Rose Marque, attaining one of the highest scores to date. The museum has, for the second year running, attained 100 per cent in the staff category, and an award nomination for the scheme’s Welcome Accolade. In late 2022, the attraction was honoured to beat competition to achieve the prestigious Welcome Accolade in recognition of the high standards. The report states: “As experienced at the previous assessment, staff have that ‘can do’ attitude and clearly enjoy working at the centre. There is nothing else I could have expected from them. The 2022 ‘Welcome’ Accolade is very well deserved.”
The efforts of the catering team were highlighted with acknowledgement to how staff have coped during staff shortages, commenting: “Heather was working on her own in the café due to staff shortages and did an excellent job of preparing lunch for us all in a timely manner, making sure we were looked after” – as well as the unique experience that is offered by former fishermen at the site. Former Skipper Dennis Avery and former Third Hand Ron Telford also impressed the inspectors, who wrote: “They actively engaged with all visitors, tell fascinating stories from their time as trawlermen and the harsh realities of fishing life. They taught the children how to tie ropes and make secure knots and answered any questions visitors had.”
Operations manager, David Ornsby, said: “It is very fulfilling to see the hard work of the team rewarded with nationally recognised awards like this from Visit England. It is important during challenging times to receive this positive reinforcement. The reports and meetings with the inspectors following these assessments are invaluable to us in our work to maintain these standards and to explore areas of improvement.”
Councillor Tom Furneaux, portfolio holder for culture, heritage, and the visitor economy at North East Lincolnshire Council, added: “It is great to see all the staff at Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre recognised for all the work they do. From the café to the museum experience, it all makes for a truly enjoyable time, so be sure to visit and see for yourself!”