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Canterbury: The Beaney to celebrate five years since it reopened after a major redevelopment project

Five years ago, a revitalised Beaney House of Art & Knowledge re-opened its doors after an ambitious £14.2 million redevelopment project.

Since then more than two million visitors - and more than 600,000 children - have been welcomed in, enticed by world class exhibitions, unique collections, heritage and culture.

After being a finalist in the Art Fund Museum of the Year Awards in 2013, and now listed as one of the most visited free attractions in the South East, the Beaney is now set to celebrate its fifth birthday with a special day of free family activities on Saturday, September 16.

Canterbury's own Bagpuss
Canterbury's own Bagpuss

The day will feature a packed programme including craft workshops, tours, musical and dance performances and the return of the hugely popular Stormtroopers who visited in December 2015 to celebrate the opening of the Star Wars exhibition, May The Toys Be With You, which attracted record visitor numbers.

There will also be the chance to purchase a limited edition Beaney print, created specially for the 5th Birthday by artist, Hugh Ribbans and the launch of the Beaney Butterfly Machine, pioneering technology that allows visitors to explore objects through music and sound, developed by Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Family activities at the Beaney in Canterbury
Family activities at the Beaney in Canterbury

To coincide with the day of celebrations, The Beaney will be unveiling new displays for the public to enjoy in its galleries, including items from Canterbury’s most famous cat, Bagpuss along with the Clangers, Rupert the Bear and the Canterbury Cross, recently named as one of the 100 Objects that Made Kent.

Director of museums & galleries, Joanna Jones said: "We have a great programme planned and this will be an opportunity to celebrate the Beaney’s achievements, thank our visitors for their support over the last five years and to look ahead to the exciting plans we have for The Beaney in the future."

The 5th Birthday activities will be on Saturday, September 16 between 11am and 4pm. For more visit thebeaney.co.uk

Don't missthe KM's What's On supplement next week for our feature on five years of The Beaney.

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