Why Visitor Centre is tops for customer care

Lancaster Cabnal Boats was a winner
Lancaster Cabnal Boats was a winner

Fresh from its success in the Lancashire Tourism awards, Garstang’s Visitor Information Centre is preparing to welcome visitors to a pre-Christmas event which will showcase the work of local craftspeople and designers.

From photographs and prints, to ceramics, hand-made cards and designer glass there promises to be a wealth of locally sourced work on display.

A delighted Elizabeth Cripps

A delighted Elizabeth Cripps

The Arts and Crafts Fair runs at the Cherestanc Square Centre from 1.30pm to 7pm on Thursday November 28.

It will also provide an oportunity to see the range of information available at the Centre and make purchases from the Centre’s range of gifts and guides.

The Centre won the Customer Service Award, beating off competition from the likes of Blackpool’s Sandcastle Water Park. Centre Supervisor Elizabeth Cripps said in previous years they had won the Visitor Information provider awards, but thisbyear the customer care wa a new award: “We were really pleased ....It was a challenge this year, because they didn’t do the same categories,”

She explained that the Centre also takes bookings for activities such as the Arts and Walking Festivals

and provides contact information for Wyre Council.

Elizabeth explained the premises are a one-stop shop for coubncil information, tourism and countryside information, saying : “The Council now don’t have offices that local residents can go into. They can come into here and we can let them have the contact details for any queries.”

Other local businesses celebrating their success at the Lancashire Tourism awards include Lancaster Canal Boats which won the Small Visitor Attraction award, against such competition as Samlesbury Hall and Go Ape at Rivington. It was also shortlisted for the Best For Group attraction award. Delighted managing director Barry Cole said it was a huge compliment and a great commendation to the company’s team whose members work so hard to provide a brilliant customer experience.

In 2014 they will attend the Visit England national awards where it’s hoped to bring the ultimate prize back to Lancashire. The Cheese Shop at Dewlay on Garstang Road was short-listed, along with Barton Grange, in the Retail Experience Awards.

The awards were presented at the tourism award ceremony held in the magnificent backdrop of Blackburn cathedral Other award winners featured in detail in last week’s Courier are: The Visit Garstang Centre is open from 11 am to 3.30pm Monday to Sunday, closing for lunch from 1pm to 1.30pm.

Other local winners included Anne and Robert Gardner of Bleasdale Cottages who won the Green Tourism award and The Cartford Inn at Great Eccleston carried off the best Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation Award.

Both will now go forward to the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2014, representing the county in the national tourism awards.