The Lancashire Tourism Awards took place on Thursday 13 September at the Guild Hall in Preston, as part of the city’s Guild Year celebrations. Following his own successful Vintage Weekend, held in Preston’s stunning Avenham Park, design guru Wayne Hemingway MBE was back in the city and delighted to present awards to Lancashire’s finest tourism businesses.
There were entries in 16 categories, including the new for 2012 Tourism Pub of the Year category and the Special Recognition Award. You can see the full list of finalists and winners here and read below what was said about their win on the night.
Most of those awarded on the night will be going forward to the national Visit England Awards for Excellence, which will be held in May 2013. Good luck to all our winners – we’ll be with you all the way!
The Winners – 2012
Number One St Luke’s, Blackpool – B&B/Guest Accommodation of the Year
Awards script: Number One St Luke’s was the original standard bearer for ‘boutique’ style guest accommodation – and a national Enjoy England Gold winner in 2008. The judges remarked on their impeccable attention to detail, uncompromising quality and determination to stay at the top of their game.
Northcote, Langho – Small Hotel of the Year
Awards script: Northcote delivers stunning guest accommodation, customer service excellence and something distinctly ‘special’ – from the moment you approach their impressive property. From their imaginative use of marketing and social media, the professionalism of their team, to their Michelin starred dining. Northcote is an all-round class act.
Dalmeny Hotel, St Annes on Sea – Large Hotel of the Year
Awards script: The Dalmeny is a family business that prides itself on traditional quality and excellent value. Never resting on its laurels and constantly looking to improve its substantial offer, the Dalmeny has all the friendliness and warmth of a small hotel, with all the attractions and facilities that customers demand of a large, modern hotel.
Carr Royd Parks/Sunset Park, Hambleton – Caravan Holiday Park & Holiday Village Award
Awards script: It is another win for Carr Royd Parks/Sunset Park who have again raised the bar in this category. The judges were particularly impressed by their continuing developments to the site and the constant efforts to improve their offer.
Cross Farm Holiday Cottages, Downholland – Self Catering Award
Awards script: Cross Farm Holiday Cottages were created with great sensitivity to the needs of the visitor. Truly accessible, warm and welcoming, the owners go beyond the call of duty with many considerate, personal touches.
Museum of Lancashire, Preston – Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
Awards script: After closing its doors and investing 1.7 million pounds on a full refurbishment, the Museum of Lancashire has reinvented itself. It re-opened in November 2011 and immediately smashed its visitor targets. The new museum offers a fascinating introduction to Lancashire history – through imaginative and inspiring interpretation and sensory exhibits. Congratulations to the whole team.
Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool – Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Awards script: The exceptional guest service experienced by the mystery shopper, coupled with impressive marketing initiatives and the warmest of welcomes, made Sandcastle Waterpark the clear winner.
Farmaggedon, Ormskirk – Best Visitor Experience of the Year
Awards script: A former winner in this category, Farmaggedon went on to the national Enjoy England finals in 2010. Their growing visitor numbers are testament to its increasing popularity and this unique and thrilling visitor experience cleverly extends their season. Well done.
University of Central Lancashire, Preston – Business Tourism Award
Awards script: The University makes a vital contribution to the visitor economy and also demonstrates, through its commitment to preparing young people for the industry, that it is investing in the future success of the county. In particular, the judges wanted to commend Gail Simpson for her impressive work.
The Millstone at Mellor – Tourism Pub of the Year
Awards script: The judges were united in their praise of The Millstone. Its customer service is second to none and its warm and friendly atmosphere, with delightful personal and quirky touches throughout, make The Millstone as welcoming to visitors as it is to loyal locals.
WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough – Sustainable Tourism Award
Awards script: The judges were very impressed by Martin Mere’s innovative projects including the many water-saving measures adopted by the team. They have also worked in partnership with other businesses across the county, generously sharing their expertise and ideas.
Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool – Access for All Tourism Award
Awards script: Winning for the second year in the row, ‘accessibility for all’ starts with Sandcastle’s recruitment process and is the focus of each and every member of the team. Their commitment is ‘wholehearted, authentic and extraordinary’. Well done team Sandcastle!
Visit Garstang Centre – Visitor Information Provider Award
Awards script: Helping revitalise the centre of this historic town, this modern information provider is an invaluable resource for the visitor. Customer satisfaction is a priority for the team, their extensive knowledge of the area and great attention to detail is deserving of the mystery shopper’s overall score of 100%
Redwell Country Inn and Restaurant, Arkholme – Taste Lancashire Award
Awards script: Retaining their Taste Lancashire crown for a second year, the Redwell Country Inn’s reputation is soaring. Their early adventures in developing their own smoked food, led to the opening of their smokehouse and shop this year. Now supplying some very well-known restaurants and hotels with their produce – they are also chefs creating products for chefs. The closing comment of the mystery shopper says it all – ‘wow!’
Madame Tussauds, Blackpool, launch campaign – Marketing Campaign of the Year
Awards script: Madame Tussauds put together an innovative campaign using celebrities – and their uncanny wax likenesses – to great effect. From appearances in shopping malls to national news coverage and tempting ticket offers, few could have missed the excitement around the opening of this new attraction.
Simon Entwistle, Tour Guide, Top Hat Tours – Special Recognition Award
Awards script: Simon has entertained thousands of visitors with tales of Lancashire myths, legends and ‘horrible histories’ for well over a decade. He is a passionate advocate of the county and supports many industry colleagues, with the promotion of Lancashire and its many attractions. Take one of his tours and observe his audience carefully – they are captivated and enthralled by his delivery, inspired by his local knowledge and as a result, are certain to have many great memories of their time in Lancashire.