This London institution has just been crowned Art Fund Museum of the Year 2024

Young V&A in Bethnal Green has been named the country’s best museum

Eddy Frankel
Written by
Eddy Frankel
Art & Culture Editor
Young V&A in Bethnal Green
Photograph: Art Fund / Young V&A

The Art Fund Museum of the Year prize is like the Oscars for public institutions in the UK. Every year, all the best galleries and cultural spaces in the country put on their tuxedos (picture editor please insert image of the British Museum in a bow tie here) and wait nervously to see who will be crowned the museum equivalent of Best Actor.

This year, at a no doubt tense and highly competitive awards do, the prize was given to London’s very own Young V&A. The Bethnal Green museum got handed the £120,000 prize at a ceremony at the National Gallery, beating off stiff competition from Dundee Contemporary Arts, Craven Museum, Manchester Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. 

Young V&A used to be called the Museum of Childhood, but closed down for a £13million refurb a few years ago and remerged in July 2023 with its new name and all new displays. It’s a genuinely brilliant place to take kids, filled not only with great displays of toys and historical artefacts, but also rammed with interactive elements and play areas. It’s part-soft play, part-cultural experience. The best of both worlds for those with little ones. 

Vick Hope, who judged the prize, said ‘the Young V&A is such a special and unique place, offering an experience for children (and their adults) like no other out there.’ Until they put a ball pit in the middle of the British Museum, that is inarguably true. 

Find out more about Young V&A here.

Want more? Here are the top ten exhibitions in London

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