Thursday June 21 2018

The Red House, Aldeburgh, the home of the British composer and Suffolk hero Benjamin Britten has been recognised for its family offering and has been shortlisted for Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

For the last two years the Britten-Pears Foundation has worked hard in broadening its audience base and making The Red House an important part of the community. Along the Suffolk Coast, rural isolation, poor public transport links and economic hardship create significant barriers to accessing cultural activities and we are taking an active role in developing opportunities and engagement with young people.

We believe that it is never too early to learn about music and history and we now offer a variety of free activities such as Mini Music Makers sessions for 0-5 year olds, family trails and activities during the school holidays, resources and exciting events to help families explore our beautiful site and exhibitions together.

Sarah Bardwell, CEO of the Britten-Pears Foundation which manages the site says of the nomination:

Britten encouraged children to make and enjoy music. At his home at The Red House in Aldeburgh we strive to continue that tradition through encouraging discoveries in all corners of his home and gardens. With less time available in the school curriculum for music and creative activity we are delighted to provide some musical sustenance and understanding with a variety of activities for young people, families and school groups.

Emmajane Avery, Chair of Kids in Museums said:

We were really impressed with the high quality of this year’s nominations for the Family Friendly Museum Award and the brilliant family friendly work that is going on in museums all over the country. It’s fantastic that so many museums are using our Manifesto to shape their work with families, children and young people and listening and responding to their feedback. The Red House has done a brilliant job in engaging families with classical music in their museum through hands-on activities such as Mini Music Makers sessions. They have worked hard to overcome barriers to families visiting, reaching out into their local community and taking practical steps such as providing a shuttle bus to the museum.

The shortlisted museums are:

The Erewash Museum, Derbyshire
Leeds City Museum, West Yorkshire
Museum of the Order of St John, London
National Maritime Museum, London
Perth Museum and Art Gallery, Perth and Kinross
The Postal Museum, London
The Red House, Suffolk
Torquay Museum, Devon
The Whitworth, Greater Manchester
Wrexham County Borough Museum, Wrexham
Yr Ysgwrn, Gwynedd

The winner will be announced in London on Monday 1 October 2018.

About Kids in Museums

Kids in Museums is a national charity dedicated to ensuring that all children, young people and families feel welcomed and involved in museums and other heritage sites. In recognition of its excellent track-record and future ambitions, Kids in Museums was selected by Arts Council England to be a Sector Support Organisation for the museum sector from April 2018, funded as a National Portfolio Organisation.

The Kids in Museums Manifesto and the Family Friendly Museum Award have been incredibly successful ways of encouraging and guiding museums and galleries across the country to make family visits engaging and enjoyable. Takeover Day and Teen Twitter Takeover have enabled over 30,000 children and young people to take on meaningful roles in museums, building their confidence, skills and interest in museums and museum careers.

Britten-Pears Foundation

The Britten-Pears Foundation was established to promote the musical legacy of the composer Benjamin Britten and his partner, the tenor Peter Pears. The Foundation is based at The Red House, their former home in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Visitors can explore Britten’s home; visit his library, studio and gallery spaces showcasing our extensive collection as well as 5 acres of gardens.

The Foundation maintains one of the UK’s most important centres for music and artistic research which have been recognised through Arts Council England’s Designation scheme. There is also an extensive fine art collection and a large collection of objects and possessions accumulated over Britten and Pears’ lifetimes.


For further press information please contact Ella Roberts on 01728 451702 or by email.