VOLUNTEERS are celebrating after their museum was given an accolade described as being the equivalent of a Michelin star.

Portland Museum has been awarded full accreditation by Arts Council England following a rigorous scrutiny process of all aspects of its management, operation and user experiences.

The museum was first awarded accredited status by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in 2007, when it was managed by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

Since 2008, Portland Museum Trust has managed and operated Portland Museum, largely with volunteers.

The award of accredited status by the successor body to the MLA is satisfying for the Trust as it recognises good practice and management as well as compliance with the nationally recognised accreditation standards.

Trust Chairman Trevor Primett said: “This award is an endorsement of the professional standards we strive to follow at the museum, and of the hard work and commitment of our museum manager, our directors and volunteers, since the Trust took over the museum in 2008.

“The awarding of accredited status is a great distinction and demonstrates that we have been assessed, and through the efforts of everyone involved in the museum, have been given this high accolade, which for a community museum with limited resources, is quite an achievement.

“We would like to thank everybody who has contributed to this process with its successful outcome, and to those who daily commit their time and effort to the museum to ensure it remains a viable and popular attraction showcasing Portland’s heritage and history.

“We look forward to continuing to develop the museum’s potential whilst preserving its unique appeal and hope that it will continue to be a valued attraction for locals and visitors alike.”

Museum Manager Lisa Gravett added: “I am delighted that Portland Museum has received the top accolade in the museum world for all aspects of the way it is organised and managed.

“I am grateful to our wonderful volunteers whose hard work and dedication over the years since the Trust took over has kept the museum up and running.

“The museum is the best it has ever been. We have new exhibitions and interpretation, our community events are extremely popular, and visitors locally, nationally and around the world are singing our praises.”

Portland Museum Trust is currently looking for new trustees to replace two retiring Board members.

Contact Pam Boyce, Trust Secretary, for an informal chat on 01305 823500, or by e-mail on pamboy50@gmail.com.