AHI Award Entry

Entries for the AHI 2019 Discover Heritage Awards are now closed

AHI  2019 Discover Heritage Awards sponsored by NovaDura Ltd

AHI 2019 Discover Heritage Awards sponsored by NovaDura Ltd

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Entries for the AHI 2019 Awards are now closed.

If shortlisted, we will let you know by the 31st May and our site judges will visit your project over summer.

Award Categories

Museums/Historic Properties

Sponsored by Minerva Heritage

This is a permanent or semi-permanent project that is based upon a collection, building or property. A museum is defined as a collection-based organisation rather than the display of objects at a visitor centre. Museum-led projects that take parts of their collection off-site to places that are not visitor centres are eligible. An historic property/site could be a house, castle, industrial or archaeological site.

The project must be available for visit by site judges during summer 2019.

Outdoors - Urban and Rural

Sponsored by The Way Design

This is for permanent or semi-permanent interpretation of cultural and/or natural heritage anywhere outdoors, from a small garden to a landscape, a street to a city centre. Projects can take any form, physical or digital. Projects on open air archaeological sites may be judged in this or the Museums/historic properties category at the discretion of the judging panel.

The project must be available for visit by site judges during summer 2019.

Visitor Centres/Interpretation Centres

Sponsored by HDC International

This category includes new visitor centres as well as established centres producing new interpretation. A centre may be linked to a property, site, landscape or whole region. It may be a standalone building or set within a larger building, such as a tourist information centre. You will be judged on how you use the built space of a centre to tell the cultural or natural heritage story of the property, site, landscape or region. An eligible centre can include a collection of objects in its displays, but the centre itself should not be a collecting museum. If you are the latter please enter the Museums and Historic Properties category. Visitor centres at historic properties or landscapes are eligible in this category where they form a distinct and separate element to the rest of the property.

The project must be available for visit by site judges during summer 2019.

Volunteer and Community Projects

Sponsored by Bright 3d

This category is for a project that has been led or co-produced by a volunteer-based community organisation or a community group. Projects up to £100,000 in cost are eligible. The project will demonstrate community involvement and ownership by being produced by a community group working with contractors to help deliver interpretation or by working as equal partners with an organisation such as a museum, local authority or charity employing staff. The Award will recognise the work of volunteer-led groups in taking the lead or being equal partners in producing and co-producing interpretation.

The project must be available for visit by site judges during summer 2019.

Events and Activities

Sponsored by StudioLR 

Entries for this award should highlight excellence in using creative approaches to enhance visitors’ heritage experience through the use of time-limited events or activities.  These could include temporary exhibitions, festivals, costumed interpretation, guided walks, family activities, theatrical experiences, performance shows, short films, music performances, dance, light shows, etc. The entries might be temporary projects featured within a wider existing project, museum, heritage attraction, outdoors, or standalone. Focus should be on the effectiveness of the project bringing natural or cultural heritage alive, helping visitors to develop a strong sense of understanding and appreciation of a place, person, collection or subject.

The events and activities will have taken place within the eligible time period but might not be in existence at the time of judging during spring/summer 2019. They will be judged on equal parity with projects that are still in existence. The entrants are encouraged to send as much support material as possible in digital/electronic formats e.g.  video clips, audio samples, links to websites/ blogs/ online performances etc. as part of the application process.


All interpretive media welcome
Interpretive projects that are publicly launched between 1st April 2017 and 30th April 2019 utilising any type of media are eligible to enter any of the categories, and these can be projects using just a single medium or combining more than one medium. So, you are eligible to enter the Awards whether your project comprises one or more of the following: displays, panels, print publications, trails, audio, video, live performance, face-to-face, art, online, mobile, download or any other way of communicating the special values of a place, person or object. New interpretive activities or interpretation within a larger scheme or permanent site are welcome, for example a new exhibition, gallery or event.

Completing the entry form
Download the word document entry form and complete all questions. Text boxes will expand to accommodate your text. Word limits for each question are strict so please check the word count of your answers before you submit. The question-by-question guidance notes provide helpful advice on the types of information you may wish to enter for each question, so please read them carefully. The criteria allow our judges to assess such things as any interpretive and project planning undertaken, how the project was implemented and its success. We will compare projects of different types, sizes and budgets by looking at the interpretive rationale and principles which lie behind what you have done, as well as the effectiveness of the delivery for your audiences.

Choose the category that fits best
Please choose the category that you feel your project fits best. You may feel that there is more than one category you could enter, for example a community project based in a museum. If so, enter the category which you consider represents the main aspect of your project or which you feel most comfortable entering. You will not be penalised by which category you enter but you may find yourself competing with different sorts of entries. The category are helpful to compare and judge sites that are most alike. Interpretive planning, approaches or media are not different in one category or the other; the categories are simply a way to judge the solutions different teams have found to similar challenges.

Short-term activities that have happened within the eligible time period, such as performances, live events or temporary exhibitions, will be entered in the Events and Activities category. If shortlisted, we will ask you to provide as much material as possible for our judges to assess it, including video recordings, transcripts, photographs, etc., and may call to discuss the activity with you.

The Judging Panel may advise or choose to shortlist a project in the category they deem most appropriate.

A number of projects will be shortlisted in each category, based on the information provided in the entry forms and supporting material. Two AHI judges will then visit each of the shortlisted projects and assess them against a number of criteria. These criteria are evident in the questions asked in the entry form, and the guidance notes provide helpful advice on the types of information you may wish to include.

Additional things you will need
As well as emailing a completed entry form you will need the following:

  • To pay the entry fee. The fee is £60 for AHI members and £70 for non-members. This must be paid no later than the 23rd May 2019 for the judging panel to assess your entry. If your entry fee is paid by your organisation’s finance office you will need to include their details. Please include a purchase order number if your organisation requires this to pay the invoice.
  • Once you have submitted your entry you can email up to 5 high resolution JPG photographs which best illustrate aspects of your project and supporting documents from the list on the form. Include your name and project title.