By Discover Shropshire & Telford, 27 February 2020, 15:42PM
Discover Shropshire & Telford is celebrating as the area is voted the best place to stay in the Midlands after securing two winners in accommodation categories at the inaugural West Midlands Tourism Awards.
As well as the two accommodation winners, there were further awards for other top tourism attractions showing that Shropshire and Telford really is a great place to visit for those wanting to escape the city and experience the best of England’s countryside, creativity and culture.
Telford and Shropshire were top of their class in the Self Catering Accommodation of the Year category, with all three finalists coming from the region.
It was Burlton Cottages, based on the edge of Shrewsbury, which took gold and will now represent the region at the national VisitEngland Tourism Awards for Excellence 2020 for the chance to be recognised as a national winner.
Winner Rachel Mee, of Burlton Cottages, said: "I'm still pinching myself - it means such a lot when you've put your heart and soul into a business and it's so nice to be recognised by people in our industry.
“The camaraderie between all three of the self-catering businesses at the awards was amazing. The fact that all three finalists were from Telford and Shropshire just was an indication of the sheer quality of our accommodation and short break on offer.
“We cannot wait for the national awards and to fly the flag for not just our business but for our fantastic visitor offer in the county.”
In the same category Penny Black Cottage in Ironbridge took silver, and Ironbridge View Townhouse bronze.
Vonny Simons from Penny Black Cottages said: “We opened about two years ago, and before that we carried out months and months of refurbishment, it has been really tough work.
“To be part of these awards and recognised some of the biggest tourism companies in the West Midlands is amazing and we are all brimming with pride.”
All finalists for these prestigious awards were supported by regional tourism lead organisation Discover Shropshire & Telford, the official destination management organisation for the county. The team that promote the destination nationally
Shropshire also saw Broome Park Farm in Cleobury Mortimer win the trophy for B&B and Guest House of the Year.
Other major wins included Hencote which took silver in the Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year prize and The Coracle Micro Pub in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site who took bronze in the coveted Pub of the Year category.
The awards, run by the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) in collaboration with its regional destinations, were held to celebrate the success of tourism businesses across the region and promote the strength of the business and leisure tourism offer, its venues, people, experiences and accommodation.
The successes comes in a landmark year as Telford & Wrekin Council’s lead organisation for destination management and visitor economy development, Discover Shropshire & Telford celebrate 35 years of investment, growth and success in their visitor economy.
Carolyn Healy, Cabinet Member for Visitor Economy & World Heritage for Telford & Wrekin Council said it was a real feather in the county’s cap to land so many top awards.
She said: “These awards are testament to the incredible tourism product we have to offer here in Telford and Shropshire - it really is one the best places in the country to stay, it’s a gem of English tourism for sure.
“The sheer representation of tourism businesses from Telford and Shropshire in these awards is a tribute to the excellence of our tourism economy and the people behind these amazing businesses. Now to be part of the national VisitEngland Tourism Awards for Excellence that take place in summer is a point of great pride.”
Carolyn continued: “The awards come on the back of a really challenging week for Telford and Shropshire, especially in the historic towns of Ironbridge Gorge and Shrewsbury.
“While the focus nationally has been on flooding, these awards provide an important reminder what an amazing destination we have here and how important visitors and the visitor economy is to us.”