Staff at Gladstone Pottery Museum are celebrating after the venue tasted gold at the Staffordshire Tourism Awards.
The Longton-based visitor attraction won gold in both the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year and Inclusive Tourism categories, as well as a silver award in the Guided Tour of the Year section.
In the two categories where gold awards were achieved, the museum will now go forward to represent Staffordshire in the national VisitEngland awards, held at the Bath Assembly Rooms in April 2018.
Councillor Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news not just for Gladstone but for the city as a whole, and credit must go to the staff and volunteers who work so hard at the museum throughout the year.
“Gladstone is a wonderful museum which gives a fascinating insight into our heritage and history and I’m sure anyone who has been there won’t be surprised to see these awards being handed out. At a time when we are waiting to find out if we have won UK City of Culture 2021, this is further evidence of why we would be such a worthy recipient of the title.”
The Staffordshire Tourism Awards celebrate the best tourism businesses in the county. Entrants were reviewed and marked on their commitment to delivering excellent customer service, training and skills for employees, sustainability and environment; along with the entrants’ proactivity and dedication to best practice, quality of service and product.
Nerys Williams, the museum’s audience development officer, said: “All of the staff at the museum are thrilled with the awards and they are already hanging up in pride of place in our reception area.
“The museum provides bookable guided tours which are popular with a range of visitors of all ages, from local schools to special interest groups who travel internationally to visit. A silver award in this category is a great reflection on the quality of the tour, which both educates and entertains visitors.
“By winning two gold awards the museum has been recognised as the best visitor attraction of its size in the county, and as being the most inclusive organisation from a broad field of visitor attractions, accommodation providers and associated businesses.”
Sarah Montgomery, chairman of Enjoy Staffordshire and managing director at the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “We should all be proud of the work we do to promote tourism in Staffordshire. The sector continues to be a major part of the county’s economic landscape. Overall annual direct spend by visitors now stands at £1.3bn, and the total impact of the sector, including indirect spend, amounts to £1.8bn.
“In all, 39,000 people are employed by the sector, both directly and indirectly, so we must not underestimate how important tourism is to the overall Staffordshire economy. Well done to all our winners, and good luck to those going forward to represent Staffordshire at the VisitEngland Awards.”
Gladstone Pottery Museum is open Tuesdays to Saturdays and Bank Holidays, 10am to 4pm, and has free parking.
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