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Shortlist announced for record breaking Tourism Awards

15th October 2015

Categories: Latest News


Tourism business across the North East are keeping their diaries free for the most important event of the year as the shortlist for the North East England Tourism Awards is announced today.

Playing a major role in showcasing the range of high quality tourism businesses and experiences on offer to visitors across the North East, the awards have continued to grow with a record breaking 120 businesses submitting entries for this year’s awards.

Organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance since 2012, entries have increased by over 70% in the last four years, making the 2015 awards the biggest to date.

Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said “It’s fantastic to see so many entries this year. The quantity and quality of the applications not only demonstrates the variety of tourism businesses and attractions across the North East, offering visitors an unforgettable experience, it’s also a testament to our thriving visitor economy.

“Tourism businesses employ more than 55,000 people across the North East with an additional 730 jobs created over the last 12 months.

Sarah added: “It’s always a joy to see the outstanding work the finalists have delivered and I look forward to celebrating all of their achievements with them at the awards ceremony in November.”

58 applications made this year’s shortlist from a wide range of tourism businesses across Country Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director at Sage Gateshead, which has been shortlisted for Tourism Event of the Year, Sustainable Tourism Award, Access for All and Large Visitor Attraction of the Year said: “It is a particular honour to have been shortlisted for the North East Tourism Awards.  It is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the team at Sage Gateshead.  As former award winners we know that being recognised by the judges as amongst the best in the region can make a real difference to how our business is perceived.  Sage has an enviable reputation for being the home for music in the North East, and now in our 2nd decade, we are committed to providing an amazing experience for all of our visitors.”

Newcastle College joins Northumbria Water in supporting the record breaking year by sponsoring the awards. Tony Lewin, Principal at Newcastle College said “We are delighted to be sponsoring the North East Tourism Awards. Newcastle College makes a significant contribution to local tourism and the regional economy. Our Lifestyle Academy work closely with NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Newcastle International Airport providing student ambassadors to welcome visitors to the City for big events such as the Rugby World Cup.

“We also work in partnership with some of the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and spa’s so that our award winning students can benefit from working in a five-star environment.”

The results will be announced at the glittering celebration on 24 November at Newcastle Civic Centre’s Banqueting Hall, hosted by BBC Radio Newcastle breakfast show presenter, Alfie Joey. Tickets to attend the awards are priced at £50 and are available now at

The Northern Tourism Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that will benefit the tourism industry across the region. The founding members of the alliance are NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism, Visit County Durham, and The North East Hotels Association. The Awards are also supported by Northumberland County Council, South Tyneside Council, North Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council.


The 2015 Shortlist

Access for All
• Calvert Trust, Kielder
• Sage Gateshead & GOTH
• Newcastle United Football Club/Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events
• The Hog’s Head Inn

Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year
• Martineau Guest House
• St Cuthbert’s House
• The Old Manse
• The Old Post Office, Lanchester

Business Tourism Award
• Event Durham, Durham University
• Seaham Hall
• Newcastle United Football Club/Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events

Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year
• Doe Park Caravan Site
• Leaplish Waterside Park – Northumbrian Water
• Springhouse Country Park

Large Hotel of the Year
• Jurys Inn Newcastle
• Village Urban Resort Newcastle
• Rockliffe Hall
• Hotel Indigo Newcastle

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 
• Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books
• Beamish, The Living Museum of the North
• Sage Gateshead
• National Glass Centre

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
• Springhill Farm Holiday Accommodation
• Hesleyside Huts
• Blacksmith’s Cottage
• Calvert Trust, Kielder

Small Hotel of the Year
• Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa
• Seaham Hall
• The Morritt Country House Hotel & Spa
• Newton Hall

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
• Oriental Museum
• Auckland Castle
• WWT Washington Wetland Centre
• Kielder Observatory

Sustainable Tourism Award
• St Cuthbert’s House
• Durham University
• Sage Gateshead
• Slate & Nature

Taste of England Award
• Northumberland Cheese Company
• Zeera Indian Cuisine
• The Orangery Restaurant at Rockliffe Hall
• Martineau Guest House

Tourism Experience of the Year
• Karting North East
• The Cycle HUB
• Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt, Durham University
• Hall Hill Farm

Tourism Pub of the Year
• Angel of Corbridge
• The Bridge Tavern
• The Bamburgh Castle Inn
• The Staith House

Visitor Information provider of the Year
• Durham Pointers
• Morpeth Tourist Information & Craft Centre
• Berwick upon Tweed Tourist Information Centre
• North Shields Tourist Information Centre

Tourism Event of the Year  
• Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt, Durham University
• Northumberland County Show
• Funfair, Sage Gateshead
• Festival of Thrift

Additional Quotes:

• Charlie Pears-Wallace, Sales and Marketing Manager at Northumberland Cheese Company, which has been shortlisted for Taste of England Award, said: “It’s a pleasure to be shortlisted for the North East England Tourism Awards. Winning an award would be a wonderful accolade for us to hold, as we are immensely proud of our cheeses, and the success which they hold. This award is also testament to the other strings to our bow; like the workshops, cheese making days, and our Cheese Loft Café and Shop - which we would love people to recognise as readily as our cheese brand.”

• Eamonn Elliott, Chief Executive at Rockliffe Hall, which has been shortlisted for Large Hotel of the Year and Taste of England Awards, said: “We are so pleased to be shortlisted for the Large Hotel of the Year Award and for the Taste of England Award for the Orangery Restaurant. We at Rockliffe feel privileged and proud to represent the North East as the only 5 AA Red Star property and want to utilise that position to attract people from the North East and further afield to our region. We are particularly honoured to be situated in this area, employing 320 members of staff, 275 of whom are local to the North East. Working as a team we strive to make Rockliffe Hall, Golf and Spa unsurpassed by none in the UK and Ireland.”

• Michelle Daurat, Interim Director at National Glass Centre, University of Sunderland, which has been shortlisted for the Large Visitor Attraction Award, said: “National Glass Centre is delighted to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award.  This has been a great year for our Centre, with visitor figures continuing to grow and feedback about the work we do at an all time high. The nomination recognises our dedication to celebrating and promoting the important part glass making has played in the region and we are proud that we can represent Sunderland in this category, supporting the fantastic work the city is doing to promote culture and tourism in the area.”

• Leanne McCormella, Marketing Manager at WWT Washington Wetland Centre’s, which has been shortlisted for Small Visitor Attraction of the Year said: “The team at WWT Washington is absolutely chuffed to bits to have been shortlisted for this year’s North East England Tourism Awards.

“Our region is home to a thriving and competitive tourism industry, so to be recognised as being up there with the best is a real honour and a reflection of all the hard work and commitment shown by our dedicated staff and volunteers.

“Best of luck to all the other finalists and we look forward to the ceremony in November.”

For media enquiries contact:
Becky Beaumont
Media & PR Executive
T. +44 (0)191 440 5728
M. +44 (0)773 075 0101

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