Saffron Walden's TIC recognised in first ever Essex Tourism Awards

PUBLISHED: 16:31 15 September 2009 | UPDATED: 21:54 31 May 2010

SAFFRON Walden s recently refurbished Tourist Information Centre (TIC) has scooped a major prize in the inaugural Essex Tourism Awards. The facility in Market Square received a £50,000 makeover earlier this year and it proved its worth by beating off stif

SAFFRON Walden's recently refurbished Tourist Information Centre (TIC) has scooped a major prize in the inaugural Essex Tourism Awards.

The facility in Market Square received a £50,000 makeover earlier this year and it proved its worth by beating off stiff competition from Colchester and Southend to win best TIC in the county. The TIC picked up its gong at a Black-tie presentation awards in Southend on Thursday.

Delighted duty managers Mark Starte and Rachel Thomas, said: "It is a credit to all the hard work and dedication of our team of staff and volunteers, and our colleagues at the town council, that we have come away as winners.

"This has given everyone involved a terrific boost."

The Essex Tourism Awards were organised by Archant - publishers of the Saffron Walden Reporter - in conjunction with Essex County Council to recognise professionalism and expertise in the tourism industry, as well as showcasing the best of Essex attractions.

Also shortlisted for awards were the Saffron Walden Arts Festival, organised by the Saffron Walden Arts Trust, which was nominated in the best event or festival category and Audley End House, which was nominated in the best large tourist attraction.

Although both had done extremely well to be shortlisted, they lost out to the 'Guardians to the King' exhibition and Colchester Zoo respectively.

Saffron Walden mayor, Cllr Doug Perry, said: "It is without doubt a marvellous achievement to have three such groups from Saffron Walden as finalists from the whole of Essex.

"It is recognition of the commitment, passion and dedication of all those involved, which can only benefit the town and the people.

"It is an amazing achievement for our TIC if you consider that Saffron Walden Town Council only took it over from Uttlesford District Council less than two years ago, and now is the best in Essex. This can only add further to the reputation of our town."

Other nominations in Uttlesford included the Radisson SAS at Stansted Airport, which was highly commended in the best large hotel category, and Great Hallingbury Manor which won best small hotel and was highly commended in the sustainable tourism category.

The winners from each category will now be shortlisted for the regional East of England Tourism Awards, which take place on October 29.

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