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16th March 2016

The Whitworth strikes gold in VisitEngland Awards

University of Manchester’s art gallery, The Whitworth, is named as VisitEngland’s largest visitor attraction of the year.

The Whitworth has won yet another gold award, this time from Visit England in the large visitor attraction category. The University of Manchester’s art gallery beat an array of renowned competitors—including Chester Zoo and Salisbury Cathedral.

The Whitworth reopened its doors to the public in February 2015 after a £15 million redevelopment, which doubled the size of the building—the largest renovation in the gallery’s 125 year history. Since then, the gallery has scooped multiple national and international awards, including Europe’s Best Emerging Culture Destination, Museum of the Year 2015, and North West Building of the Year.

The most recent gold award for the The Whitworth is from the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, which represents the highest accolade in English tourism. The Awards are firmly established in recognizing the highest excellence in practice and customer service, celebrating businesses of supreme quality and innovation.

Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain and VisitEngland, said: “These awards are the highest accolade in the industry, recognising the world class tourism experiences that can be found throughout England. As ever competition has been fierce, with winners from the regions coming through to compete at a national level so my congratulations to all our winners, especially the Gold Award winners who are the standard bearers for English tourism.”

Gallery Director Maria Balshaw said: “It has been a momentous period for the gallery—and winning this award, one of several now, is again a wonderful way to say thank you to all those who made it possible.”

The Whitworth is located on Oxford Road, and is open 7 days a week from 10am until 5pm, and on Thursdays until 9pm. For more information on upcoming exhibitions and events, visit

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