West Midlands venues shortlisted for national tourism awards

Finalists announced for VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence 2020.

Three of the West Midlands’ leading tourism organisations have reached the finals of VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence 2020.

Birmingham Hippodrome (Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award); The Hive Café and Bakery in the Jewellery Quarter (Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award); and The Howard Arms near Shipston on Stour (Pub of the Year) are among 53 national finalists to compete in ffiteen core categories at the annual awards ceremony.

The three venues were automatically put forward to the national competition, having been among the regional winners at the inaugural West Midlands Tourism Awards in February. Supported by the West Midlands Growth Company, which aims to attract visitors and events to the region, the event formed one of eighteen local competitions to take place around the country.

Roger Mendonca, Chief Operating Officer at the West Midlands Growth Company and member of the West Midlands Regional Board for Tourism, said: “It is terrific news that three of our great West Midlands tourism businesses have been selected by VisitEngland to vie for a coveted prize at this year’s Awards for Excellence ceremony.

“The West Midlands’ tourism sector is home to many fantastic venues and people, whose ingenuity and energy – particularly in the face of understandable adversity during this challenging time – help to create amazing experiences for our region’s visitors.

“We wish Birmingham Hippodrome, The Hive Café and Bakery and The Howard Arms the very best of luck and congratulate all three of them in earning this national recognition. We encourage everybody to tune in to celebrate tourism and cheer on our finalists.”

Talking about their nomination, Suzanne Carter, Team Leader for the Heritage Programme at The Hive Café and Bakery, commented: “We are really excited by VisitEngland’s nomination for our café and bakery. It recognises all the amazing things that happen behind the scenes and the hard work of students and staff at Argent College, a specialist education provider for young people with learning differences and complex needs, which is based on the upper floors of the building.

“Students grow and harvest the chemical-free organic fresh produce on the rooftop, which is served to customers in the café. They bake and wait tables, and selectively compost all food waste within the building. Judges’ comments highlighted our appreciation for sustainable and ethical practices, our extremely unique approach, and fantastic engagement with the wider community. We are very proud to represent the West Midlands in this category.”

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020 will celebrate the quality, innovation and best practice of businesses across England including hotels, self-catering accommodation providers, B&Bs, glamping operators, attractions, restaurants, pubs, museums and conference centres. Categories include the Taste of England Award, Self Catering Accommodation of the Year and Small Visitor Attraction of the Year.

The event will be streamed live at visitengland.org and on the national tourism body’s YouTube channel: VisitEnglandBiz on 17th August from 19:00–21:00. For more information about the West Midlands’ tourism highlights, log on to makeitwm.com.