Buckingham Old Gaol Museum is now on the same standing as the British Musuem after receiving accreditation from the Arts Council.
The successful application has been described as a ‘significant step’ for the museum, which is run independently by volunteers, and has been since its opening in 1993.
Chair of the Buckingham Old Gaol Trust Helene Hill said: “It is the first time we have got this accreditation.
“When the museum first opened we completed the relevant application forms but then the regulation system changed and we could not complete them at that time.”
The application was prepared and submitted by volunteer trustees and took up a lot of time and effort.
Helene said: “There was a lot of detail in the application.
“A lot of sections were not relevant to us because we are a relatively small museum but we still had to complete it.”
The museum has since had a visit from an inspector and now proudly displays a certificate to showcase its new status.
Helene said: “This accreditation shows other museums we are a safe place if they people want to lend or borrow items.
“It also gives us a better chance when we go for grants that previously would not have been available to us.
“The forms are basically a paper exercise that shows how good we are.”