North East Connected

Region celebrates GOLDen night at national tourism awards

The region’s top tourism businesses were celebrating last night after picking up Bronze, Silver and Gold awards at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

Seaham Hall Hotel, County Durham, were named England’s Small Hotel of the Year when they won Gold at the awards.

This success was followed with two Silver awards for Hotel Indigo Durham in the Large Hotel of the Year category and Triple A Food Tours, Newcastle, for the New Tourism Business Award.

Clive Goodwin, of The Ouseburn Trust, finished off an amazing night for the North East with a Bronze in the Unsung Hero category for his work with the Victoria Tunnel tours.

Seaham Hall Hotel beat off stiff competition from No.15 by GuestHouse in Bath and The Idle Rocks, Cornwall, who both received silver.

The accolade follows a number the hotel has received in recent years including North East Chef of the Year for Jr Sous chef Kyle Greenwood at this year’s competition in May.

The annual VisitEngland awards were held at Birmingham Library last night (WED) and were presented by TV Presenter Claire Balding CBE. They celebrate and champion innovation, quality and best practice across the industry recognising businesses and individuals who raise the bar of England’s tourism offer.

The region’s four finalists qualified for the national awards after picking up Gold at the North East England Tourism Awards (NEETA) held in March.

Sarah Green, chief executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, who deliver the NEETA awards, said: “What an awesome night for the region! A massive congratulations to all our finalists. It’s an incredible accolade to have England’s top Small Hotel here in the North East and demonstrates the commitment, passion and quality of our tourism businesses.

“It was fantastic to see our businesses supporting each other on the night. I’m delighted that all our finalists have been recognised in their own right for the wonderful experiences they offer visitors to the North East.”

Ross Grieve, Managing Director of Seaham Hall, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been recognised for this prestigious accolade in the VisitEngland Awards. It is truly an honour and one very much shared with the entire team at Seaham Hall. We are very grateful for the team’s passion and ongoing commitment; our fantastic, very loyal guests, are also a huge driver in terms of our success.

“Seaham Hall is very much a destination it its own right, and we proudly champion the region, promoting the beautiful heritage coastline, the city of Durham and the many reasons to visit and spend time in the North East of England to our guests which travel to us from all over the country.”

VisitEngland Advisory Board Chair Nick de Bois said: “It is wonderful to see the Awards event back in-person, giving us the opportunity to come together, celebrate and congratulate the best-of-the-best across England’s world-class tourism industry.

“From an accessible and inclusive sailing school to a family run rural glamping site and an immersive living museum, these awards highlight the outstanding quality, the innovation and the customer service excellence across our industry. All these businesses are winners in every sense.

“Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and this year’s awards also highlight the dedication of tourism businesses as they rebuild, championing best practice and providing visitors with first-class experiences.”

For a full list of the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence go to

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