On 9 October 2015, NWFED member, the Whitworth Art Gallery was named the best emerging cultural destination in Europe at the 2015 edition of the prestigious Leading Cultural Destinations Awards at a ceremony in London.

This year, the Leading Culture Destinations awards were divided into five categories with winners selected for:  Exhibitions and Programming, Architecture and Spatial Design, Digital Experience, Eat & Drink and Shop.  The awards have also been expanded to include categories for Emerging Culture Destinations from all over the world of which the Whitworth was selected as the European winner.

A platform created to explore, recognise and promote the world‟s best destinations for cultural experiences, following the announcement, Maria Balshaw, the Whitworth’s Director explained what this award means the Whitworth and those involved in its recent transformation:

“We were thrilled to accept the award, an accolade that places the University of Manchester’s Whitworth firmly on the European cultural map. The Whitworth re-opened its doors on 14 February this year following a £15 Million redevelopment project by MUMA, transforming the 126 year-old Whitworth into a 21st Century gallery in the park and has since welcomed over 300,000 visitors through our doors. We are delighted to have these achievements acknowledged by this award.”

Highlight the practices and solutions that raise the standards of the cultural sector worldwide, making the Whitworth’s win a further cementing of their importance within the North West’s cultural venues.