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Whitworth named Museum of the Year

Manchester's Whitworth has been named as Museum of the Year 2015 and won the £100,000 Art Fund Prize - the largest arts award in Britain.

Founded in 1889 as the first English gallery in a park, the Whitworth recently underwent a £15 million transformation, resulting in record-breaking visitor figures following its reopening.

Stephen Deuchar, chair of the judges and director of the Art Fund, said: "The transformation of the Whitworth - architecturally, curatorially, and as a destination - has been one of the great museum achievements of recent years.

"Its galleries offer intellectual, visual and creative stimulus of the highest order; the collections are innovatively presented, the community engagement programmes are both original and unusual, and the visitor experience is exceptional throughout.

"We were particularly taken with the relationship between the reconceived building and its surrounding park: museum, locality and community merge as if one. And in a wider sense the Whitworth has changed the landscape: it truly feels like a museum of the future."

Novelist Ben Okri presented the award to Maria Balshaw, director of The Whitworth, at a ceremony this evening at Tate Modern .

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