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Birmingham’s Museum of the Jewellery Quarter has struck gold in the annual Heart of England Excellence Awards – a scheme celebrating the best tourist attractions in the region.

The Hockley museum, opened in 1992, was named Best Small Attraction, beating rival attractions from across the region to the crown.

Staff were presented with the award by Penelope Viscountess Cobham, Chair of Visit England, and BBC Midlands Today presenters Nick Owen and Suzanne Verdi.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport & Culture, said: “This is a richly deserved award for an outstanding museum – one of Birmingham’s real gems.

“A visit to the museum is a fascinating experience, telling the story of the Jewellery Quarter and showcasing this city’s renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage.”

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is currently experiencing a record year and has already eclipsed the figure of 33,000 visitors for 2007/8.

Last year it was named as the third best free tourist attraction in Europe by TripAdvisor, behind the Pantheon in Rome and the National Gallery in London.

It is now in the frame for the national Enjoy England Awards and will represent the West Midlands in early 2010.

Highlights at the museum include:

  • Visit to the Smith & Pepper factory by guided tour. Allow one hour for guided tour. Last tour approximately one hour before closing. The maximum number of people on each tour is 18.
  • The museum shop, which stocks a range of locally made designer-maker jewellery.
  • Live demonstrations at the jeweller’s bench showing how the Smith & Pepper bangle was made.
  • The vast array of original tools, stamps and machinery that remains inside the factory

Museum curator/manager Victoria Emmanuel added: “This is great news for a museum that continues to grow from strength to strength and is currently enjoying a record breaking year.

“The museum attracts a large number of repeat visitors from Birmingham and the Midlands but we’re also welcoming a growing number of people from much further afield.”


Click on the flickr link below for a photograph from the awards ceremony.

For further information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

  • Category: Local Services
  • Reference number: null
  • Issue date: 03 November 2009