Announced at a glittering ceremony in Brighton’s Dome Corn Exchange on St George’s Day, Friday 23rd April, the awards, known as the ‘Tourism Oscars’, are the highest accolade in English Tourism. They celebrate the very best quality and innovation, helping to raise standards across the industry and securing England’s place as a world-class holiday destination.
The Large Visitor Attraction Award is presented to places with over 100,000 visitors a year that, in the eye of the judges, go the extra mile to ensure every visitor has an unforgettable experience.
The award winning £12 million refurbishment of one of the Midlands’ major tourist attractions includes a new Victorian street and artisans’ quarter plus a clay mine railway and Visitor Centre, which features a stunning state-of-the-art audio visual display.
Delighted with the award, Barrie Williams, Chairman of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust said; “I am thrilled that all of the hard work of the staff, trustees, volunteers and the local community has been recognised by the judges. 2009 was a fantastic year for the museums and winning this award is a wonderful way to start the 2010 season.”
The Blists Hill redevelopment has also resulted in the attraction being long-listed for the prestigious Art Fund Prize. At £100,000, this is the largest arts prize in Britain, which aims to increase the public appreciation and enjoyment of the UK’s museums and art galleries, the results of which will be announced later in the year.
The Enjoy England award also comes shortly after the Ironbridge Gorge Museums success at the Renaissance West Midlands awards held recently in Birmingham. Enginuity won the award for best innovation on a budget for its Crash Test Glider Project in partnership with RAF Museum Cosford, while Blists Hill came away with not only the award for best permanent exhibition but also the overall award for Best in the West.
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