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Shortlist announced for new look North East Tourism Awards

ByDave Stopher

Nov 2, 2019 #North East

Businesses from across the region are celebrating after being shortlisted for the revamped North East England Tourism Awards 2020.

Nearly 150 applications were received for the awards and businesses completed new application forms and underwent a different judging system with a greater focus on experiencing the North East tourism industry first-hand.

Shortlisted businesses include The Alnwick Garden and St Cuthbert’s House, which are shortlisted in two different categories, and Sage Gateshead and Battlesteads, which are shortlisted in three categories. First time applicant Falconry Days was also shortlisted in three categories.

Local Geordie and critically acclaimed stand-up comedian and TV host Chris Ramsey will be the compere for the Awards. Alongside hosting the ceremony on Tuesday 24 March 2020, the Strictly Come Dancing star will also be doing a short stand-up routine.

The awards play a key role in highlighting the importance of tourism in the region, which continues to be the fourth largest sector in the North East economy.

The format of the Awards has been tweaked this year so that they now align more closely with the modernised VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, which are celebrating their 30th year. To mark this, VisitEngland launched the revamped Awards to reflect innovations across England’s tourism industry.

New categories introduced for the North East England Tourism Awards 2020 include Experience of the Year, International Tourism Award and New Tourism Business Award. Eligible winners of all categories will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Having launched the new look Tourism Awards for 2020, it’s great to see the number and quality of applications that we have received. The refreshed format aligns the Awards more closely with the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and gives a wider range of businesses a chance to be successful thanks to the new categories.

“Already in 2019 we have hosted large scale events such as the European Rugby Finals, World Transplant Games and Tall Ships, and the tourism sector continues to flourish in the North East. These Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the important contribution that the industry makes to the region.”

Newcastle College and Bidfood are continuing their support for the awards as event sponsors for 2020.

Lisa Hamilton-Murray, assistant principal at Newcastle College, said: “Newcastle College is delighted to be sponsoring the North East Tourism Awards for another year. The North East has a flourishing tourism industry and we have a significant tourism provision at the College for young people looking to forge successful careers in the sector.

“We work in partnership with many of the fantastic employers associated with these awards allowing our students to benefit from fantastic work experience opportunities in some of the best hotels, restaurants and resorts. The Tourism Awards are a great way to celebrate the success of the industry in the North East.”

Jane Tiplady, General Manager of Bidfood North East, said: “We are delighted to be event sponsors of the North East England Tourism Awards for the third year running. It’s fantastic to see so many of our region’s outstanding tourism and hospitality businesses recognised through these awards.

“This year, we are also sponsoring the ‘Small Hotel of the Year’ category and we are looking forward to celebrating those organisations that always aim to deliver the best possible experience for visitors to our region.”

Tickets to attend the awards at Newcastle Civic Centre are priced at £67.50 and are available to buy at https://tickets.northeasttourismawards.co.uk/.

The North East England Tourism Awards are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance.

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 North East England Tourism Awards are also supported by South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Council.


2020 Shortlist:


Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award

Sage Gateshead

Go North East

South Tynedale Railway

The Joiners Arms


B&B and Guest House of the Year

Market Cross Guest House

Millstone House Bed and Breakfast

Layside Bed and Breakfast

St Cuthbert’s House

St Valery Boutique B&B


Business Events Venue of the Year

Event Durham, Durham University

The Biscuit Factory

Newcastle City Council Civic Centre Banqueting

Venues at Northumbria University

Sage Gateshead


Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year

Herding Hill Farm Touring, Camping and Glamping Site

Hesleyside Huts

Seafield Caravan Park

Westfield House Farm Shepherd’s Huts


Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

South Tynedale Railway

Westfield House Farm


Sage Gateshead

St Cuthbert’s House


Experience of the Year

Footsteps in Northumberland

Falconry Days

The Alnwick Garden

CBK’s Adventure Co.


Large Hotel of the Year

Vermont Hotel

Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa

Matfen Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa

Doxford Hall Hotel and Spa


Small Hotel of the Year

Lord Crewe Arms

Walwick Hall

Seaham Hall

Wynyard Hall



International Tourism Award

Event Durham, Durham University

Falconry Days


New Tourism Business Award

Shepherds Retreats Ltd

The Amble Inn

Maldron Hotel Newcastle

STACK Newcastle

Spanish City


Pub of the Year

The Apple Inn

The Angel of Corbridge

Twice Brewed Inn

The Botanist


Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year

St Oswald’s Farm

Mains Cottages

Brunton House and Cottages

Vindomora Country Lodges


Taste of North East England Award

Dobson & Parnell

Restaurant Hjem

Barrasford Arms



Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Bamburgh Castle

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Great North Museum: Hancock

The Alnwick Garden


Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Newham Grange Farm

Falconry Days

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums – Arbeia South Shields’ Roman Fort

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