MUSEUM staff who created a haven for sea life are hoping to net a prestigious £100,000 prize.

The Horniman Museum in London Road, Forest Hill, has announced it has been nominated for the Gulbenkian Prize 2007.

First awarded in 2002, the accolade is given to the museum or gallery with the best new development.

The Horniman, which opened in 1901, is one of 10 organisations to have made the nominations list and was singled out for its £1.5m aquarium.

Other nominees include the Women's Library in east London, for its exhibition about prostitution, and also west London's Victoria and Albert Museum for an exhibition about Islamic art.

The Horniman's aquarium has 150 species of sea life in 15 different tanks, including seahorses, jelly fish, coral and sea anemones.

Since it opened last July, it has attracted 110,000 visitors.

Horniman director Janet Vitmayer, who has worked at the museum since 1998, said: "We're absolutely delighted with the nomination.

"The Gulbenkian Prize is highly regarded and it's such a thrill to be listed.

"The new aquarium has been incredibly popular with visitors to the museum, especially with families with young children."

She added: "The nomination is recognition for all the hard work the team put in to designing, building and developing the aquarium."

The 10 organisations on the list will be shortlisted to five in April and the winner will be announced in May.

The prize is organised by a number of groups, including the Campaign for Museums and National Heritage.

Residents will be able to vote for their favourite museum online and encourage judges to decide which nominees they should shortlist.

  • News Shopper will keep you updated on how to show your support for the Horniman when voting details are revealed.