An annual Melton event and a rural holiday park have scooped top honours in a prestigious annual county tourism awards scheme.
Organisers of the town’s Victorian Christmas Fayre received a coveted gold award in the category for ‘tourism event of the year’ at a ceremony at Mercure Leicester, The Grand Hotel.
There was also a gold award for Eye Kettleby Lakes, which was joint winner of the Holiday Park of the Year/Self Catering Provider of the Year section with The Dandelion Hideaway, at Osbaston, near Market Bosworth.
The winners were recognised in the Leicester and Leicestershire Excellence in Tourism Awards 2015 and will go on to compete for prizes at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence next year.
The success for the Melton Victorian Fayre is a timely boost just a month before this year’s edition of the event, which will be held over three days instead of just one, from Friday December 4 to 6, with its usual mix of period stalls, street urchins, stilt walkers, Punch and Judy show and brass bands, with traders dressed in clothes from that era.
Ruth Wakeling, the main co-ordinator,said: “I was very surprised that we won the award and very pleased.
“It’s great for us because it shows the event is moving forward with it going from one day to three days this year.
“Our trophy will be displayed at the Melton Council offices.”
Ten representatives of Eye Kettleby Lakes, which has 12 holiday lodges and 61 pitches for caravans, were present when their award was announced.
Assistant manager Jemma Maloney said: “It was a big surprise to win the gold award.
“I know the judges were impressed with our website and the way we run the business.
“We were also pleased to be a finalist for the sustainable tourism award.”
Melton Theatre was a finalist for the second year running in the small visitor attraction category, which was won by Bosworth Battlefield.
Theatre co-ordinator Michael Harris said: “The category is hotly contested and we were up against some very stiff competition from nationally funded organisations so we very proud of our achievement, given that we are an unfunded organisation with a limited capacity.
“In three years we’ve had 39 sold-out shows and served over 60,000 very happy customers and an award or two is just the icing on the cake.”
Martin Peters, chief executive of Leicester Shire Promotions said: “This year’s finalists, highly commended and gold award winners, showcase the strength of Leicester and Leicestershire’s offering as a nationally-recognised destination for domestic and international visitors.
“We are proud of all of these local businesses, organisations and experiences, and will be supporting them as they aim for national glory in the VisitEngland awards.”