A number of people working in the visual arts have received recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015.

Maria Balshaw, who as director of Manchester’s Whitworth gallery oversaw its recent and successful £15m redevelopment, has been awarded a CBE for services to the arts. The honour comes just weeks after the Whitworth team announced record-breaking visitor figures since the gallery’s relaunch in February.

Balshaw, whose combined role also encompasses Manchester City Gallery, said: “I am delighted to have been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. It is really gratifying that my work at the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery has been recognised in this way, as an affirmation of the importance of arts and culture for people in Manchester today.”

Hepworth Wakefield’s director Simon Wallis receives an OBE in recognition of his contribution to the visual arts during his seven-year tenure with the organisation. During that time he developed the organisation from being its first employee in 2008, to being the largest purpose-built exhibition space outside London when it opened in 2011.

Wallis said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this, especially at this timely moment following the gallery’s fourth birthday.

“I feel the credit for the OBE very much deserves to be shared among the wonderful team at The Hepworth Wakefield, as well as my friends and family, who together, have tirelessly helped to support me in developing and realising the ambitions I have for the gallery.”

Other awards announced include OBEs for Manchester International Festival’s artistic director Alex Poots and for Outset Contemporary Art Fund co-founder Candida Gertler, while, as reported over the weekend, former a-n director Susan Jones received an MBE.

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