Caption: Lois and Roland collecting the prestigious award
The East Lancashire Railway has been named “Large Visitor Attraction of the Year” at the recent Lancashire Tourism Awards.
The prestigious awards that took place on the 6 November in the beautiful surrounds of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom recognise and celebrate the incredible contribution of Lancashire’s tourism businesses to the local visitor economy.
The awards saw businesses from different tourism sectors, including accommodation, food and drink, retail, venues, visitor experiences and attractions, vie for the top accolade in their category.
The railway, which attracts nearly 150,000 visitors each year, took home the “Large Visitor Attraction of the Year” award after beating off stiff competition from other highly acclaimed regional finalists that included Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Zoo, Brockholes, Sandcastle Waterpark and WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.
Kate Walker, Marketing Manager for the East Lancashire Railway, commented on the railway’s recent achievement;
“We are delighted to have been named Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Lancashire Tourism Awards, especially as the category included some truly fantastic attractions. As a predominantly volunteer run organisation, the award acknowledges the hard work and dedication of our 600 volunteers that help run the railway on a day-to-day basis and is something that we will all treasure for a long time to come. Lancashire boasts some fantastic tourist attractions and experiences and we are very honoured to represent our beautiful region as the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year.”
The Bury based attraction has seen significant growth in recent years with the expansion of an annual event programme, dining experiences, Rail Ale Trail tours, photography courses and the strengthening of relationships with local businesses and authorities. The East Lancashire Railway will now progress to the Visit England Excellence Awards 2014, representing Lancashire in the national tourism awards.