Shetland Museum and Archives

The story of Britain's most northerly community, from its geological beginnings to the present day, is told in the Shetland Museum and Archives.

Purpose-built on the restored Hay's Dock in Lerwick, the £11.6m facility opened in 2007 and houses working boat sheds, a pier store and historic vessels.

It is proving to be a great success with locals and visitors alike, and those involved in the project were delighted to be nominated for the 2008 Art Fund Prize.

"The Museum and Archives and restaurant are getting extremely good feedback, both from locals and from visitors," says museum curator Tommy Watt. "Locals keep on returning - there's so much for them to see. Our visitor figures have far exceeded what we imagined right at the very beginning, well more than double."

Islanders have taken the museum into their hearts, and museum staff have been inundated with messages of support. "We want to say a very big thank-you to the people of Shetland who have been so supportive," says Kathy Hallett, museum assistant. "And of course to the many visitors who have sent in fantastic comments to the Art Fund Prize website."

The eventual winner of the £100,000 prize, announced in a ceremony in London in May 2008, was the Lightbox Gallery and Museum, in Woking, Surrey.