Applications for the 2019 Sandford Awards, which recognise high quality heritage education provision, are now open. The awards are administered by Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) in partnership with the Heritage Education Trust and over 500 sites, including historic houses, museums, galleries and collections, places of worship, gardens and parks have received an award over the last 40 years. Recent winners include Lincolnshire’s own International Bomber Command Centre and Belton House.

The award is non-competitive, offers an independently judged, quality assured assessment and is granted for a five year period. Applications are welcome from sites small and large and run by national institutions, local authorities, volunteers and private owners.

What are the benefits for entrants?

  • A kite mark for high quality learning provision
  • The opportunity to use your award to attract increased school visits and new audiences
  • A detailed consultancy report as part of the expert judging process which you can use to effect positive change in your organisation
  • The opportunity to attend a presentation ceremony
  • National recognition among the heritage sector of the personal contribution of you and your staff/volunteers which will help to motivate the whole site to develop its good practice further

What our 2018 award winners have to say

  • “It helped raise the profile of our site and also encouraged our Trustees.”
  • “The judge’s report was very useful, led to further training and made a significant difference to the quality of delivery.”
  • “It allowed great team morale and great to support drives for funding.”
  • “The scope of the judgement across the six criteria was very useful, focusing on the entirety of our service.”
  • “A really useful external eye on what we do made us feel good about our successes as well as suggesting improvements.”

Find out more

The Sandford website provides further information including details of the Sandford Award criteria and judging process. You can also find a series of short films featuring our expert judges and some of our award-winning sites with top tips and advice that relates to the Sandford Award criteria.

What does it cost to apply?

The application fee is £350 per site. If your organisation manages more than one site, you should submit a separate application for each.

How do I apply?

To register an interest in the 2019 Sandford Awards please contact and we will send you the application form and judging information. Alternatively, you can download the entry form from our website.

Deadline for entries is 15 February 2019

The Sandford Cascade Project- supporting museums and heritage sites in the East Midlands

The Heritage Lottery funded Sandford Cascade project supports sites in the East Midlands to develop their heritage learning offer and apply for the Sandford Award. Benefits for members include a programme of visits to learn from Sandford Award winning sites, £1,000 bursary to enhance your learning provision, opportunities to attend skill sharing workshops, valuable networking opportunities with other museums and heritage sites and access to online resources.

To find out more and to register an interest visit the Cascade project site.

30th November 2018

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