The souvenir shop at the Hill House in Helensburgh has been announced as the best in the country by the Association for Cultural Enterprises, beating London’s Science Museum and The Globe Theatre.

Created as part of the pioneering conservation project undertaken by the building's owners, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), to protect Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s domestic masterpiece from the ravages of the Scottish coastal weather, judges were impressed with both the look of the shop and the bespoke design-led products.

The winners in the annual ACE awards were announced on Friday.

READ MORE: Shop at Hill House in Helensburgh in the running for top retail prize

The retail team sourced hundreds of new products ranging from badges and scarves to bespoke jewellery pieces and a model Hill House made from Lego bricks.

A series of tea towels, mugs, T-shirts and notebooks using designs created by Glasgow’s Hole In My Pocket was also shortlisted for the award in the ‘Best Range’ category.

Judges noted that the shop was ‘smart and sleek’ and commended the display of the products. Praise was also given for the incorporation of the vast chainmail box structure in to ‘innovative and unique ranges’.

Both the shop and the Hill House are currently closed until further notice, as part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

READ MORE: Hill House closes to the public as Covid-19 concern escalates

This is the first time in the history of The National Trust for Scotland that the charity has won a national award for one of its shops.

The awards were due to be announced at a ceremony last week at the ACE annual conference in Harrogate, which was postponed due to the current emergency.

Instead, the results of the award were revealed to winners by email.

The property's £3.2 million 'box' was recently named as one of 18 projects in the running for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) annual award.

READ MORE: Hill Houses's £3.2m protective 'box' nominated for 2020 RIAS Award

Alex Miller, retail development manager at the NTS and the driving force behind the shop, said: “It’s been such a difficult time for everyone in the last few weeks but getting the news that we’d won has been so heartening.

"In achieving this award, we’ve held our own against key heritage sites The Science Museum and The Globe Theatre.

“This means a great deal to everyone who was involved in The Hill House Box project last year and I am incredibly proud of the outstanding collaboration, hard work and sheer team effort that we collectively achieved on this project.”

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