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RECAP: Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2014

7th August 2015

Categories: NETA - news

Award: Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 

Winner:  Beamish, The Living Museum of the North 

This week, let’s go back in time to discover what life was like in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North.

Beamish is a museum like no other, making visitors not only see the region’s history but also become a real part of it. You won't find objects displayed in glass cases here, you'll see them in their original context. Every month is packed with different events and attractions to enjoy by people at all ages. 

Most of the shops, houses and buildings have been restored to their original state, taking visitors on a journey back in time to the North East’s past. Attractions available include a railway station, a 1940’s farm, The Collier, Pit Village and many more.  

The unique idea to preserve the heritage of traditional industries, such as coal mining and shipbuilding, was founded over 40 years ago by Frank Atkinson, allowing Beamish to tell a unique story which could have been otherwise lost. Since then it has continued to expand across its 300-acre site, staying true to Frank’s founding vision. 

It has grown into the region’s most popular paid tourist attraction and has enjoyed its most successful year ever in 2013/14, doubling visitor numbers and reaching a record of 607,477.  

This inspiring success made us ask a few questions, especially in regards to them winning the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year award at North East Tourism Awards 2014. 

Why did you enter the North East England Tourism Awards 2014? 

As one of the region’s largest tourist attractions, we felt that it was important for us to support the awards by entering.  We also understand that in terms of PR, being shortlisted for an award, and ultimately winning it, has immense value. 

What did it feel like to win? 

We were very proud to win the award; it is recognition of our role in the tourism offer of the North East and of the dedication of all of our staff and volunteers. 

What impact has it had on your business?

2015 was a record year for Beamish, with more than 650,000 visitors coming through the gates.  The PR we received for winning the award certainly played some part in that. 

In your opinion, how important are the North East England Tourism Awards?

The awards are an opportunity to showcase all tourism businesses in the region, whether large or small.  They serve to remind the people of the North East what a fantastic tourism offer we have on our doorstep.  Winning a North East England Tourism award gives automatic entry to the VisitEngland Awards, which extends the PR opportunities to a national stage. 

Why do you think other businesses should apply? 

This is a fantastic promotional opportunity for any tourism business which recognises the efforts and achievements of every member of staff. 

Will you enter again this year?

Yes, we will be entering the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category again this year.

By Karolina Osmak

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