Top honours for Charnwood’s tourism businesses

Published: Mon 28th November, 2022

  • Charnwood Borough Council councillors and officers, from left, Mike Roberts, communications manager, Cllr Shona Rattray, lead member for business support, Sylvia Wright, head of leisure and culture, Melinda Capewell, business support manager, and Cllr Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough
    Charnwood Borough Council councillors and officers, from left, Mike Roberts, communications manager, Cllr Shona Rattray, lead member for business support, Sylvia Wright, head of leisure and culture, Melinda Capewell, business support manager, and Cllr Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough

Charnwood’s visitor economy scooped a number of honours at the Leicestershire Promotions Tourism and Hospitality Awards for 2022.

A host of businesses, events, and brands from the borough were in the finals of the awards and several of them were crowned winners or commended.

Discover Charnwood, the destination brand created by Charnwood Borough Council, picked up the best marketing campaign while the Into the Outwoods Sculpture Trail, held at the Outwoods, won best free event of the year.

Bradgate Park won large visitor attraction of the year and Imago Venues, which combines conference venues and hotels with Loughborough University’s campus facilities, won business events venue of the year.

Stonehurst Farm in Mountsorrel was commended in the small visitor attraction of the year category.

The Council’s head of leisure and culture, Sylvia Wright, was also given a special commendation for her commitment and dedication to the tourism sector for many years.

Other Charnwood finalists included Burleigh Court in Loughborough; Bybrook Barn Bed and Breakfast in Swithland; Loughborough’s Christmas Lights Switch-on event; Reece Norton from Stonehurst Farm in Mountsorrel; and Charnwood Borough Council’s leisure and culture team with support from Loughborough Town Hall, Charnwood Museum and the Council’s communications team.

Cllr Shona Rattray, the Council’s lead member for business support, said: “I would like to congratulate all Charnwood businesses who made it to the finals and to those who picked up awards.

“Charnwood really is a wonderful place to visit and the quality of our local tourism awards finalists and winners just proves that.

“The Council is committed to supporting the visitor economy and that’s why earlier this year we launched Discover Charnwood – a brand to bring all of the borough’s best attractions, parks and heritage together in one place to promote the area to visitors. We’re delighted that Discover Charnwood picked up the best marketing campaign award.”

Cllr Jenny Bokor, the Council’s lead member for Loughborough, said: “I am so proud that Loughborough featured so strongly in the tourism awards. The Christmas Lights Switch-on brings thousands of people to the town each year and is one of the best events around.

“I am also so proud of our Leisure and Culture team for being in the finals. They have delivered numerous events, including the hugely popular annual Loughborough Fair and our weekly markets. Well done to the team.”

Sylvia Wright said: “I was thrilled to receive a special commendation. I have always had a passion to support the local tourism economy and Charnwood is blessed with many great businesses and unique heritage to attract people to this area. Charnwood has a fascinating tale to tell.

“I would like to thank all my colleagues and our partners for their support over the years as it really is a team effort.”

Now in its 12th year, the awards, organised by Leicestershire Promotions, are the regional heat of the national Visit England Awards for Excellence. 10 of the winners now automatically proceed to the shortlist of the national awards. Last year, two of the regional winners went on to pick up national awards.