The Winners of Lancashire Tourism Awards 2023

6 February 2024

The stars of Lancashire tourism and hospitality shone brightly last night (Tues 6 February 2024 ) at the Lancashire Tourism Awards, held at the iconic King George’s Hall in Blackburnsupported by Headline Sponsor, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Destination Sponsor, Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council.

All the winners of the Lancashire Tourism Awards, held at King Georges Hall, Blackburn Photo: Martin Bostock

Lancashire favourite radio broadcaster John “Gilly” Gilmore was the evening’s guest presenter,  and shared his love of the county and its people with stories accumulated  over three and a half decades on air; something that won him the title of Tourism Superstar, in the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2015.  During the ceremony Gilly was joined on stage by a number of guest presenters and sponsors, who announced the winners of the 25 awards.

Guest Presenter John ‘Gilly’ Gillmore

This year saw the addition of a brand-new award, the Family Run or Owned Business of the Year developed in association with sponsor Centre for Family Business at the Lancaster University Management School. The winner of the award was Brickhouse Farm Cottages, one of Lancashire’s most accessible accommodation providers, created and run by Ian and Sue Rainford and their family members. This win follows recent news that Ian and Sue have been nominated for the VisitEngland Tourism Superstar Award this year, for their outstanding achievements in the industry.

This was the second year that the Lancashire Tourism Awards has also recognised the future leaders of the industry,  with the Tourism and Hospitality Student of the Year award in partnership with Headline Sponsor, UCLan.

Tourism and Hospitality Student of the Year, Kirsty Helme

This year’s winner was Kirsty Helme, a FDQ L3 Diploma in Professional Bakery student from Blackpool and the Fylde College. Kirsty was praised for her unwavering passion, progression in her job and the fabulous support and mentorship she offers to other students at the college.

The judges felt another finalist in this strong category was deserving of recognition and granted a ‘highly commended’ award to Negar Rezaei, a student on the NCFE L3 National Extended Diploma in Travel and Tourism course at Burnley College.  Kirsty and Negar received their accolades from UCLan Professor Steven Rhoden.

Highly Commended Negar Rezaei

This year’s Judges’ Award, selected by the judges across all the finalists, was awarded to Hotel Sheraton Blackpool by the Chief Executive of Blackpool’s much-anticipated Showtown Museum, Liz Moss. The judges particularly noted the Hotel Sheraton’s natural, Intuitive and passionate approach to hospitality, as well as the kindness shown to customers and staff alike.

Vikki Harris

Earlier in the evening Vikki Harris, Marketing and Partnerships Director of Marketing Lancashire opened the event and proudly addressed the audience, sharing with them the news of the Lancashire LVEP (Local Visitor Economy Partnership) status that places “the Lancashire pin firmly in the national tourism map”  She continued “it is businesses like yours, the very best in the Lancashire, that can help us to do this by continuing to  provide exceptional and distinctive experiences for your guests.”

Closing her speech Vikki said  “There is absolutely no shortage of pride, passion and ambition in this county, and we are always so impressed by the achievements of Lancashire’s business community and so very proud to champion all aspects of living, working and investing in Lancashire.”

King George’s Hall set for the event, which was catered by Twelve of Thornton-Cleveleys

Vikki also thanked the many supporters and sponsors of the awards including: BAE Systems,  B&D Print Services, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Booths, Brindle Distillery, Burnley FC, Creative Council, Dewlay Cheesemakers, DFC, Good Intent Gifts, Harrison Drury Solicitors, Insight 6, Lancashire Business View, Lancashire Life, Lancashire Post, Lancashire Telegraph, Lancaster University Management School, Links Signs and Graphics, Northern Print Distribution, the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business and Total Foodservice.

After show party with Nathan Moore, of 80s pop band Brother Beyond

Lancashire Tourism Awards 2023

The Winners (Winners Gallery)

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism*  
Blackpool Transport Services Ltd, Blackpool
Brickhouse Farm Cottages, Hambleton
Lancashire Outdoor Activities Initiative, Rivington
The Estuary Riverside Chalets, Hambleton           WINNER
The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre, Brock

Business Events Venue*  
Crow Wood Hotel & Spa Resort, Burnley
Tickled Trout Hotel, South Ribble
Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool       WINNER

Camping, Glamping & Holiday Park* 
Hedgerow Luxury Glamping, Newsholme
Pure Leisure Group, Lancaster
The Secret Garden Glamping, Holland Moss, Skelmersdale      WINNER

Cultural Venue / Organisation  
Blackburn Cathedral, Blackburn
King George’s Hall, Blackburn
The Dukes, Lancaster           WINNER
The Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery, Rawtenstall
Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool

Dog Friendly Business  
Holland Hall, Up Holland
Tewitfield Marina, Tewitfield / Carnforth
The Lawrence Hotel, Padiham        WINNER        

Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism*  
Delta Hotels by Marriott Preston, Broughton
Hedgerow Luxury Glamping, Newsholme
Moss Wood Caravan Park, Cockerham     WINNER

Experience of the Year*  
Black Knights Parachute Centre, Cockerham       WINNER
Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours, Blackpool

Family Owned / Run Business  
Brickhouse Farm Cottages, Hambleton     WINNER
Fence Gate, Fence
Elgin Hotel, Blackpool
Frederick’s Ice Cream Ltd, Heath Charnock / Chorley
JAK Hanson Shopping Outlet, Wrightington
Mill House Farm Pods, Cockerham
Partington’s Holiday Parks, Thornton-Cleveleys

Hotel Wedding Venue  
Delta Hotels by Marriott Preston, Broughton
Foxfields Country Hotel, Billington
Glendower Hotel, St Annes
Holland Hall, Up Holland      WINNER
Mytton Fold Hotel, Langho

Hospitality & Tourism Student
Kirsty Helme, Blackpool & The Fylde College      WINNER
Negar Rezaei, Burnley College – Highly Commended
Kai Rothwell, Burney College
Connor Tyler, Blackburn College

Large Event
Amazing Accrington Soapbox Challenge
Festa Italia, Lancaster
National Festival of Making, Blackburn.
The Great British R&B Festival, Colne
Vintage by the Sea, Morecambe     WINNER

Large Hotel *
Crow Wood Hotel & Spa Resort, Burnley  WINNER
Hotel Sheraton, Blackpool
Mytton Fold Hotel, Langho
The Glendower Hotel, St Annes

Pub of the Year*
Fence Gate, Fence
Shireburn Arms, Hurst Green
The Pendle Inn, part of Daniel Thwaites, Barley   WINNER

New Tourism Business* 
Assheton Arms, Downham
Everything Retreat, Mellor
Fell Urban Bistro, Longridge
Mill House Farm Pods, Cockerham
The Estuary Riverside Chalets, Hambleton
The Hole in Wand Blackpool, Blackpool
The Rum Fox, Grindleton     WINNER

Resilience & Innovation*  
Blackpool Transport Service Ltd, Blackpool         WINNER
Holland Hall Hotel, Up Holland
3 Millstones Inn, West Bradford

Self-Catering Accommodation*
Everything Retreat, Mellor
Kays Farm Retreat, Chorley
The Estuary Riverside Chalets, Hambleton           WINNER
The Stables @Hall Green Farm, Longton

Small Event
Chorley Live
Chorley 10K
Chorley Flower Show
Coronation Event, Nelson
Darwen Live
Dino Fest, Lancaster
Music in the Park, Leyland  WINNER
Myerscough College & University Country Fair
Nestival Gin Festival, Brindle Distillery, Chorley
Stonyhurst Summer Festival of Sports, Hurst Green
Spooks at Thornton Hall Country Park, Thornton in Craven

Lancashire Perfect Stay – Small Serviced Accommodation Provider*
Bella Vista Lodge, Blackpool
Fence Gate Lodge, Fence
The Lawrence Hotel, Padiham         WINNER
The Millstone, Mellor, part of Daniel Thwaites, Mellor

Visitor Attraction*
Lancashire Police Museum, Lancaster
The Hole in Wand Blackpool, Blackpool
Windmill Animal Farm, Burscough WINNER

Taste Lancashire*
CDJ Restaurant, Darwen
Fell Urban Bistro, Longridge
La Locanda, Gisburn            WINNER

Taste Lancashire Producer
Crave Marinades, Preston
Fairham Distillery, Penwortham
Lone Wolf Bakery, Morecambe
Lucela’s, Bispham
Mr Fitzpatrick’s, Rawtenstall
Sandgrown Spirits, Lytham WINNER

Unsung Hero
Joanne Denton, Head of Weddings, Holland Hall           
Oli Martin, Chef Director/owner, Aven, Fell Urban Bistro & Foray Catering.
Simon Entwistle, Tour Guide, Top Hat Tours

Wedding Venue
Eaves Hall, West Bradford
West Tower Wedding Venue, Aughton      WINNER
Wyre Weddings, Mount Pavilion, Fleetwood

The Judges’ Awardselected from all of this year’s finalists for special recognition

Hotel Sheraton, Blackpool WINNER

* The winners of these categories will have the opportunity to represent Lancashire in the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023 competition – subject to meeting criteria.

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