Tourism businesses celebrated at annual awards

The winners of the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2012/13 were announced in the first formal event organised by Marketing Lancashire, the new company charged with promoting the county.

The evening was hosted by guest presenter and design supremo Wayne Hemingway, hot on the heels of his triumphant Vintage Weekend at Preston Guild 2012.

New chair of the board, Paul Heathcote, presented the special recognition award; an award made to one of the industry’s unsung heroes whose contribution to the industry is invaluable.

This year the award went to Simon Entwistle who has helped establish the county’s dark tourism product, with his ghost and heritage tours across Lancashire. In this year especially, he has worked with a number of partners to raise the profile of the 400th anniversary of the Lancashire Witch Trials and to generate substantial media attention.

The awards also recognised the achievements of two national winners who went on from last year’s local awards to win gold at this year’s national Enjoy England Excellence Awards: Michael Gore of the Best Western Premier Leyland, national winner of the outstanding customer service award 2012, and James Gray, owner of England’s Best B&B 2012, The Ashton, Lancaster.

The Winners of the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2012/13

Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year
Winner: Number One St Luke’s, Blackpool
Highly Commended: Broadgate Farm B&B, Bleasdale

Small Hotel of the Year
Winner: Northcote, Langho
Highly Commended: The Millstone at Mellor

Large Hotel of the Year
Winner: Dalmeny Hotel, St Annes on Sea

Caravan Holiday Park & Holiday Village Award
Winner: Carr Royd Parks/Sunset Park, Hambleton
Highly Commended: Hackings Caravan Park, Clitheroe

Self Catering Award
Winner: Cross Farm Holiday Cottages, Downholland
Highly Commended: Cleveleymere, Forton

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
Winner: Museum of Lancashire, Preston

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Winner: Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool
Highly Commended: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Best Visitor Experience of the Year
Winner: Farmaggedon, Ormskirk
Highly Commended: Treasure Trails Lancashire

Business Tourism Award
Winner: University of Central Lancashire, Preston

Tourism Pub of the Year
Winner: The Millstone at Mellor

Sustainable Tourism Award
Winner: WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough

Access for All Tourism Award
Winner: Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool
Highly Commended: Cobble Hey Farm and Gardens, Garstang

Visitor Information Provider Award
Winner: Visit Garstang Centre

Taste Lancashire Award
Winner: Redwell Country Inn and Restaurant, Arkholme
Highly Commended: The Millstone at Mellor

Marketing Campaign of the Year
Winner: Madame Tussauds, Blackpool, launch campaign
Highly Commended: Museum of Lancashire, Preston, re-opening campaign

Special Recognition Award
Simon Entwistle, Tour Guide, Top Hat Tours