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Short listed for The Art Fund Prize 2008
...thank you for all your support!

The Lightbox in Woking is one of just four museums and galleries from across the UK to be short listed for The Art Fund Prize (formerly The Gulbenkian Prize). With 100,000 in prize money, it is the most prestigious arts and heritage award in the country.

The Lightbox staff celebrate!

Photo: Chris Baker

The short list was announced on Thursday 17 April by the Chairman of the Judging Panel, and eminent broadcaster, Sue Macgregor. She was speaking on BBC Radio4’s flagship arts programme, Front Row.

The other shortlisted venues are: the Shetland Museum and Archive in Lerwick; the Wellcome Collection in London and 'Breaking the Chains,' an exhibition on slavery at the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol. 

To make the shortlist, they have seen off tough competition from other national and regional arts venues, which were long listed for the award in February. They include The London Transport Museum, The British Library and The Liverpool Museum of Slavery.

“Making the shortlist for the most prestigious arts prize in the country is beyond our wildest dreams,” said Marilyn Scott, Director of The Lightbox. “It is a real testament to the Woking residents who were so determined to have an arts and heritage facility for the town.

The judges were impressed by a visit to The Lightbox in February. Sue Macgregor said that she enjoyed ‘Woking’s Story,’ the museum of the town’s history. She mentioned the displays on the Shah Jehan Mosque and Brookwood Hospital as particular highlights.

The judges’ decision was also influenced by the positive feedback they have received from visitors and members of the local community.

Members of the public have been invited to explain why they think The Lightbox should win on The Art Fund Prize website. Between 1 February and 31 March, over 130 people took the time to write to the judges in support.

Their comments praised the inspirational nature of the project, the friendliness of staff and volunteers, the design of the building and the quality of the exhibitions and workshops. Many felt that since opening in September 2007 The Lightbox has helped transform the cultural landscape of the Woking area, as well as people’s impressions of the town.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us with wonderful comments on The Art Fund Prize website. If anyone hasn’t had the time to leave a comment yet, please do. We need your support now more than ever as we approach the final decision.”

The winner of The Art Fund Prize will be announced at a reception in London on Thursday 22 May and stands to receive £100,000 in prize money to go towards future projects.

If you’ve enjoyed your visit to The Lightbox, please tell the judges why you think we should win by leaving a comment at The Art Fund Prize website at

You can also fill in a card at The Lightbox next time you visit. There is an Art Fund Prize stand in the lobby, next to the gift shop.

Click here to leave a comment on The Art Fund Prize website | Read about the short list in The Independent. |


Further information


The Lightbox wins a Civic Trust Award

The Lightbox's architects, Marks Barfield, have won a national award for the building's community focused design and sustainability...

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Woking's Story

Have you ever wondered about what life in Woking used to be like? Or how the town came to be the way it is today? Explore the fascinating history of the borough in Woking's Story...

Click on the below links to find out more.