Top plaudits for Lancaster district tourist attractions

Dukes chairman Sian Johnson and director Joe Sumsion with staff and the Lancashire Tourism Awsrd
Dukes chairman Sian Johnson and director Joe Sumsion with staff and the Lancashire Tourism Awsrd

Organisations and businesses from the Lancaster area were celebrating this week after winning Lancashire Tourism Awards.

Lancaster Music Festival scooped the Visitor Event Award 2013 at the ceremony held at Blackburn Cathedral last Thursday, and will now progress to the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2014, representing Lancashire at national level.

Managing director Barry Cole and manager Sarah Thomas and the lancashire Toursim Award for Lancaster Canal Boats.

Managing director Barry Cole and manager Sarah Thomas and the lancashire Toursim Award for Lancaster Canal Boats.

The festival, held over three days in October, attracted more than 10,000 people to the city, and saw off competition from Armed Forces Week in Blackpool, Clitheroe Food Festival and Fleetwood Festival of Transport.

Ben Ruth, Lancaster Music Festival co-ordinator, said: “The collaboration of the venues and the phenomenal hard work and dedication of the festival team really made this festival the success it is. Next year we will certainly grow on this success. I think we can now truly say Lancaster is on the map musically and it’s only going to get better.”

The Dukes Theatre won the newly created Cultural Venue/ Organisation Award, beating competition from Horse and Bamboo Theatre in Waterfoot, Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool and Chorley Little Theatre among others.

The Dukes director, Joe Sumsion, said: “Winning this award is fantastic news.

The Lancaster Music Festival team

The Lancaster Music Festival team

“The Dukes is a real team effort and it’s brilliant that all the staff, volunteers and board members who make everything happen here have been recognised.”

Bay View Holiday Park, in Bolton-le-Sands won the newly created Holiday Park Award, and will also go on to the VisitEngland national finals next year.

Michael Holgate, from Holgates of Silverdale, which runs Bay View said: “We are delighted to have won the Holiday Park Award for 2013.

“It has given all the team involved a great sense of achievement and is recognition for all their hard work to bring Bay View to the standard our customers expect from a Holgates Caravan Park.”

Manager Debprah Moore and owner Michael Holgate with Michell Howe, Stewart and laura Aimson and Ernie Rigsby and the Lancashire Tourism award for Bay View Holiday Park, Bolton le Sands.

Manager Debprah Moore and owner Michael Holgate with Michell Howe, Stewart and laura Aimson and Ernie Rigsby and the Lancashire Tourism award for Bay View Holiday Park, Bolton le Sands.

Lancaster Canal Boats, run by Budgie Transport, based at Barton Grange Hotel, picked up the Small Visitor Attraction Award. The company provides the Lune Aqueduct cruises and waterbus service from Lancaster together with themed nights and Santa cruises from Barton Grange.

Managing director Barry Cole said: “It was a huge compliment to the fantastic attractions we provide and a great commendation to my team who work very hard to provide a brilliant customer experience.”

The company will also go on to represent Lancashire in the national awards.

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, which organised the awards said: “All our finalists are deserving of recognition but our winners today have demonstrated that they are the ‘best of the best’ of Lancashire’s tourism businesses and I congratulate them. Tourism is of vital importance to the economic good health of Lancashire and our finalists and winners are at the forefront of a drive to improve the industry’s current £3.4bn contribution to the visitor economy, which Marketing Lancashire will proudly continue to lead and develop, through creative partnerships and strategic and ambitious marketing.”