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Tourism Award winners announced at glittering event

The crème-de-la-crème of Staffordshire tourism and hospitality have been crowned at this year’s Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism and Good Food Awards.

Businesses from across the county gathered at Aspects at National Memorial Arboretum, near Lichfield, for the glittering black-tie event, hosted by BBC Midlands Today’s Rebecca Wood.

An audience of more than 300 guests saw the winners of 20 categories announced, including Alton Towers Resort (Large Visitor Attraction of the Year), The Brampton Museum (Small Visitor Attraction of the Year), and The Flintlock at Cheddleton (Independent Restaurant of the Year).

Hoar Cross Hall was named Hotel of the Year, while The Duncombe Arms, Ellastone, was Pub of the Year, and the World of Wedgwood Tea Room won the Tea Room/Coffee Shop of the Year award.

The Experience of the Year went to Nelson’s Distillery & School, for their Gin Still Experience, while New Business of the Year was The Play Barn @ Round Meadows Farm, near Leek, and Canalside Farm Shop, near Stafford, was the Food & Drink Retailer/Farm Shop of the Year.

B&B and Guest House of the Year was Eagle House Eccleshall, and the Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year award went to Weston Park Holiday Cottages, on the Staffordshire-Shropshire border.

And there were wins for Alton Towers Resort’s Mick Thomas in the Unsung Hero category, Keele University Events & Conferencing (Business Events Venue of the Year) and National Memorial Arboretum, which was successful in the Accessible & Inclusive Tourism and the Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism categories.

Forestry England’s Forestry Recreation Team at Cannock Chase Forest won the Team of the Year award, and Paige Burnham from Doubletree by Hilton Stoke-on-Trent was named the Rising Star.

There was also a special award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism in Staffordshire presented to The Evans Family, owners of Denstone Hall Café & Farm Shop, near Uttoxeter, in recognition of their unwavering commitment to protecting the environment and supporting local food & drink producers.

Philip White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for tourism at Staffordshire County Council, said:

“This is our tenth awards now and once again it’s fantastic to be able to celebrate our amazing tourism sector.

“We’re attraction central, the biggest and best playground in the country and I’m incredibly proud of our tourism offer and everyone working in the sector.  I would like to say a huge congratulations to all our winners and those highly commended and a big thanks to the National Memorial Arboretum for hosting the event.

“Tourism continues to boom here in Staffordshire, generating  an estimated £2.3 billion for the local economy and employing thousands of people.  This is due to the hard work and determination of our hospitality businesses to provide excellent and memorable visitor experiences.

“Once again a huge well done to the sector and good luck to our winners who now go forward to the national VisitEngland awards.”

The winners of 16 categories progress to represent Staffordshire at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, to be held in June 2024.

Category sponsors at the 2024 Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism & Good Food Awards were Staffordshire University, Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, We Are Staffordshire, Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group, Stoke-on-Trent College, RH Advertising, Service Science, Foster for Staffordshire, Pear OOH, and Stephensons Catering Supplies.

Full details of all winners can be found at https://www.enjoystaffordshire.com/visitor-information/award-winners

 

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