The 2014 Lancashire Tourism Awards, Blackpool Tower ballroom.
PUBLISHED: 00:00 29 December 2014 | UPDATED: 10:36 29 December 2014
The high fliers in the red rose county's tourism industry were honoured at a glittering night in the Blackpool Tower ballroom.
More than 600 guests packed the magnificent venue for the Lancashire Tourism Awards, Marketing Lancashire’s biggest event to date. The evening, hosted by journalist, broadcaster and occasional dancer John Sergeant, was sold out weeks before with a waiting list for the hottest ticket in town.
Twenty of the county’s finest tourism businesses and a special ‘Tourism Superstar’ received awards for excellence. Most of them now have the opportunity to represent Lancashire in the national Visit England Awards for Excellence 2015.
Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, told guests: ‘Tonight is all about you, our Lancashire tourism businesses and ambassadors who are simply the best in terms of quality, diversity, endurance and sheer tenacity in creating products, services and experiences that customers come back for time and time again.
‘You have created and delivered tremendous success stories that help Marketing Lancashire tell the Lancashire story in such a powerful way. I congratulate and thank each and every one of you for not only being here tonight but for making such a difference to the Lancashire economy.’
The evening also celebrated Lancashire entertainers and marked the Tower’s rich heritage in its 120th year.
The audience was reminded of the influence of Lancashire-born ukulele player George Formby, once the country’s highest paid performer, by The Mersey Belles, who performed a range of modern and traditional tunes. In recognition of the ballroom’s reputation as a place for dancers, Shannon Lily-Parker and Peter Parker, familiar to many as Bitter Harvest, finalists in Sky 1’s Got To Dance, performed their finale piece as well as a Tango. At the end of the evening Colne-based singer Russell Shaun and his swing band had the room on their feet enjoying tunes that have so often filled this stunning ballroom.