Tourism stars shine in the Ribble Valley

The "Stars in Tourism" awards. Photo by Martin Bostock.
The "Stars in Tourism" awards. Photo by Martin Bostock.
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Awards that shined a light on some of the lesser known local "Stars of Tourism" were presented at a recent ceremony at Holmes Mill in Clitheroe.

Celebrating recent innovation and achievement in tourism and hospitality in the Ribble Valley, the Ribble Valley Tourism Association presented the annual "Stars in Tourism" awards during its recent Annual General Meeting.

Earlier this year, members of the public and local businesses were invited to submit nominations.

RVTA chairman Amanda Dowson said: "The popularity of the 'Stars in Tourism' awards grows each year. They do not necessarily celebrate ‘the best of’ sector categories, as other schemes like the Lancashire Tourism Awards - our awards recognise a number of very specific areas. These include ‘Rising Stars’, being young people who show great promise and potential in the hospitality sector, the winners of which this year were Kirsten Larter, receptionist at Foxfields Country Hotel, Robert Bailey, junior sous chef at the Shireburn Arms, and Annabel Sanderson, food and beverage supervisor at Mitton Hall.

"Another important award is ‘Unsung Heroes’, the winner this year being Nick Bristol, maintenance officer at Holmes Mill, someone not usually in the spotlight but whose contribution can be very important to the success of any business."

Amanda added: "Other areas targeted for awards are for new enterprises, the winner of which this year was Wigwam Holidays Ribble Valley at Dinkley or businesses which have transformed recently, including the Coach and Horses at Bolton-by-Bowland and Bashall Barn.

"Our awards are quite different in that they endeavour to shine a light on those events, individuals and businesses, not normally in the spotlight, and they are a true celebration of the success of our local tourism industry."

Another much celebrated set of awards went to businesses which integrated the local community in their business including the Lower Buck Inn, Waddington, and individuals like Andrew Bowcock, of Autisan Café at Whalley Abbey, whose charitable endeavours create opportunities for people with autism to gain valuable work experience in hospitality.

The important role of volunteers was also commended with an award to Browsholme Hall Volunteer Guides.

Stonyhurst collected two awards, one for the new museum and one for Jan Graffius, the museum curator, who was recognised for her dedication in leading the museum project.

Two events were also recognised in the awards, the "New Event of the Year" being the Ribble Valley Live Music Festival and Artwalk Clitheroe the "Creative Event" commended for its partnership working.

The awards also recognise individuals who have overcome particular challenges or who, over the past 12 months have made a significant contribution in their sectors.

Captain David McNamee was awarded a special recognition award for his long service in organising the Slaidburn Steam and Vintage Vehicle Display, and Christine Nelson, manager of Whalley Abbey, was awarded a special recognition award for her leadership role restoring the business after the floods. Matt Evans, of The Grand, Clitheroe, was also commended for his extensive work in supporting events like the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival and Cloudspotting.

This Year’s awards were kindly sponsored by Harrison and Drury Solicitors.

Full list of awards:

New Enterprise - Wigwam Holidays Ribble Valley, Dinkley;

Transformational Tourism Awards - Coach and Horses, Bolton-by-Bowland;

Transformational Tourism Award - Bashall Barn;

New Event of the Year - Ribble Valley Live Music Festival;

Creative Event - Artwalk Clitheroe;

Rising Stars - Kirsten Larter, receptionist at Foxfields Country Hotel, Billington, Robert Bailey, junior sous chef, Shireburn Arms, Hurst Green, Annabel Sanderson, food and beverage supervisor, Mitton Hall;

Excellence in Customer Service - Morgan Kibler, The Emporium at Clitheroe, Rebecca Frogson, The Bonny Inn, Salesbury, Rhianna Feeney, senior receptionist at Stanley House Hotel and Spa, Mellor;

The Unsung Hero - Nick Bristol, Holmes Mill, Clitheroe;

Tourism Team - Browsholme Hall Volunteer Guides,

Tourism in the Community - The Lower Buck Inn, Waddington, Andrew Bowcock, Autisan Café, Whalley Abbey;

Rural Tourism - Little Town Farm Shop and Café, Thornley;

Quality Tourism - Meadow Cottage at Hill Top Farm near Longridge;

Food Tourism - Greendale View Kitchen, Downham;

Experiential Tourism - Inch Perfect;

Heritage Experience - Stonyhurst museum;

Creative Tourism - Claire Fromm, of the Fromm Shoppe;

Events Champion - Matt Evans, The Grand, Clitheroe;

Heritage Champion - Jan Graffius, curator at Stonyhurst museum;

Special Recognition awards - David McNamee, Slaidburn Steam and Vintage Vehicle Display, Roger Borrell, editor of Lancashire Life, Christine Nelson, manager of Whalley Abbey.