Manchester Art Gallery was awarded Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Manchester Tourism Awards 2008 during a glittering ceremony last week.
The gallery was also highly commended for its two other entries to the awards - for Tourism Experience of the Year (for Kylie - The Exhibition) and for the Business Tourism Award.
As they presented the award, the judges commented:
"Manchester Art Gallery has had a spectacular year for exhibitions, with Kylie and Art Treasures attracting a wide range of visitors from all ages and backgrounds."
A mystery shopper (also part of the judging process) described the gallery as "a wonderful gallery with marvellous exhibits beautifully displayed."
The Manchester Tourism Awards are organised by Marketing Manchester, the agency charged with promoting Manchester on a national and international stage. They are supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the evening's corporate sponsors.
Speaking about the awards, Councillor Mike Amesbury, Assistant Executive Member for Arts and Leisure commented:
"This is a great reflection of the achievements of Manchester Art Gallery over the course of the last year. The gallery attracted over 380,000 visitors in 2007 - 08, making it the gallery's most successful year yet. And there are plenty more reasons for visitors to look forward to another great year in 2008 - 09. The gallery's programme includes some fantastic free exhibitions. In June, the gallery will launch a new family-friendly exhibition based around the work of author and illustrator Lauren Child whose best-selling books star Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean. Historic art shows planned include the first exhibition dedicated to works by pre-Raphaelite artist Holman Hunt for over 30 years (opening this October) and a touring exhibition of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from the Royal Collection (opening in February 2009)."
Manchester Art Gallery was also recently named as one of just five nominees for the Guardian's prestigious Family Friendly Museum Award. The winner of this national award will be announced on 1 May 2008.
Jenny Beard, tel 0161 235 8864