Burnley hotel celebrates victory in Europe with musical stars

Celebrations with a distinctly 1940s WW2 theme were the order of the day at Burnley’s Holiday Inn Express this month, as the award-winning hotel team were joined by stars from Songs for Victory, a new musical which had its premiere at The Muni, Colne.

HIEX team & cast of Spngs for VctoryThe 102 bedroomed hotel has beaten off competition from over 600 hotels across Europe, including the Intercontinental hotels in London’s Park Lane and Budapest, to win a coveted European award, Developing People, announced at an international hotel conference in Athens last week.

This week’s 1940s themed celebrations, were in conjunction with West End stars from the new musical, Songs for Victory, which is raising funds for the Help for Heroes charity. Holiday Inn Express regional general manager Kerian Barnes, took her team to see the show at Colne's Muni theatre and then laid on an aftershow supper for the cast who were all staying at the hotel for the night.

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive the Developing People award and bring the honours back to our team here in Burnley. It is so encouraging for them to know how their hard work and commitment has paid off,” said Kerian. “WE decided to give our victory in Europe a real topical flavour and as we had the cat of the shoe staying with us they were delighted to take pat in our celebrations. To be honest we loved the dressing up in vintage clothes, it was good fun and a great way to mark the award.”

The Songs of Victory show, which was performed again on Monday afternoon for local schoolchildren, first debuted as part of a bugger production staged as Songs for Heroes at London’s Dominion Theatre earlier this year. This all gave Kerian the perfect opportunity to link the hotel’s Victory in Europe with the Songs for Victory show. This morning’s photo call featured the cast in full 1940s costume, the hotel staff, including chambermaids dressed as land girls, posing for press photographers in celebration of winning the award.

The Developing People award is arguably the most coveted honour within the hotel and hospitality industry as it recognises the hotel’s outstanding commitment to the development and career progression of its team, with great emphasis being placed on employee career and personal development and how the hotel invests in its staff in terms of training and helping great talent develop.

Kerian Barnes is delighted that her team has won such an important award.

“The hotel has had a very successful year and this could not have been achieved without the teams passion in embracing the training and development available, or without the links with the community projects which enable them to practice their new skills. To be recognised in this way y the European hotel industry is amazing ” The hotel encourages the development of its young team, and provides employees with the support, training and opportunity to take their careers to the next level. The award acknowledges the hotel’s outstanding contribution and support to the local community. Projects included the unique Language Skills Business In The Community initiative earlier this year, which brought students from a local college, Sir John Thursby Community College, into the hotel to gain their first experience of working in the hospitality industry.