Cheshire East’s top-performing tourism businesses have been hailed at a major awards ceremony – scooping four awards and two commendations.
The prestigious Marketing Cheshire Annual Awards 2011 recognised the outstanding work delivered by all sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry and the professionals who work in it.
Held at the West Cheshire College Creative and Services Campus, 300 guests attended an Oscars-style evening hosted by BBC North West Tonight presenter Dianne Oxberry.
This year’s winners included Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, which won ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year’.
Peckforton Castle walked away with two awards ‘Excellence in Business Tourism’ and a ‘Special Recognition’ award for Daniel Naylor, Paul Healey and Simon Oxley who helped guests to safety during the recent fire.
‘Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year’ went to Mellow Brook Cottage, at Harrop Fold Farm, near Macclesfield and Kerridge End Holiday Cottages secured the ‘Sustainable Tourism Awards’ for their luxurious five-star self-catering holiday cottages, also near Macclesfield.
Councillor Jamie Macrae, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “The visitor economy is an important contributor to businesses and communities in Cheshire East, generating more than £653m a year to the local economy.
“These awards are an excellent way to reward and promote the rich quality and diversity of visitor economy facilities and attractions across Cheshire. They also acknowledge and celebrate the considerable dedication and flair of the people who help make Cheshire such a special place to visit.”
Self-catering holiday provider of the year-winner Sue Stevenson, owner of Mellow Brook Cottage, at Harrop Fold Farm, said: “We are thrilled to win this prestigious award for our newly-refurbished five-star cottage.
“We have spent months lovingly restoring the 17th century barn and this award is a real boost to our staff and customers.”
Chief executive of Marketing Cheshire Chris Brown said: “With a visitor economy valued at £1.78bn and supporting over 27,000 jobs, the evening was a fantastic way to give the industry and individual businesses the recognition they deserve. The winners will go straight through to compete at England level and potentially be the best in the country!”
Full list of winners:
Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
WINNER - Mellow Brook Cottage at Harrop Fold Farm
Excellence in Business Tourism
WINNER - Peckforton Castle
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
WINNER - Chester Zoo
Bed and Breakfast of the Year
WINNER – Churton Heath Farm B&B
Best Tourism Experience of the Year
WINNER - Roman Tours Ltd
Small Visitor Attraction
WINNER – Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre
Taste of Cheshire Award
WINNER - Roses Tea Rooms
Sustainable Tourism Award
WINNER - Kerridge End Holiday Cottages
Best Tourism Event of the Year
WINNER - Dinosaurs at Large – Chester Zoo
HIGHLY COMMENDED – Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Live Music Event
Small Hotel of the Year
WINNER - Green Bough Hotel and Olive Tree Restaurant
HIGHLY COMMENDED – Peckforton Castle
Holiday Park of the Year
WINNER - Manor Wood Country Caravan Park
Rising Star Award
WINNER – Leanne Shaw, The Park Royal Hotel
RUNNER UP – Tori Hayes, Cruise Chester
RUNNER UP – Barry Turner, Best Western Premier Queen Hotel
Large Hotel of the Year
WINNER - The Chester Grosvenor