Lowestoft and East Suffolk Maritime Museum was named as Suffolk Museum of the Year last night.

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The competition is in its first year.

Lowestoft and East Suffolk Maritime Museum was set up in 1958 and is maintained and staffed by its members on a voluntary basis.

In 1978 Prince Philip opened a major extension at the museum and in May 2010 the Princess Royal unveiled another extension and new award winning displays by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Other musuems nominated were Beccles and District Museum, Bentwaters Cold War Museum, Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury , Ipswich Museum, Melford Hall in Long Melford and Suffolk Regiment Museum (Bury St Edmunds).

A special award also went to the Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket, for its innovative work at Abbots Hall and Crowe Street cottages.

Judy Terry, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for economic development and culture, said: “Suffolk’s museums are a significant part of what makes this county so special.

“As well as celebrating the achievements of individual museums, this occasion is a way of recognising the value the whole sector lends to our local communities and to the tourist economy.

“It will help to raise awareness of the important role museums play in conserving history for residents and tourists alike and how they can help people to discover and value the heritage around them.”

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