Eden recognised for accessibility in Cornwall Tourism Awards
The Eden Project has been named the best visitor attraction for Access and Inclusivity in the Cornwall Tourism Awards held last night (Thursday, November 3).
It was among more than 100 businesses recognised in a variety of categories at a prestigious ceremony held at the Headland Hotel in Newquay.
Now in its 15th year the awards saw an increase to 195 entries entering 25 different categories and featured lyricist and cricket enthusiast Sir Tim Rice who talked about his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John.
Eden won gold in the Access and Inclusivity category, with Kernock Cottages in Saltash and Mylor Sailing School taking joint silver and Screech Owl Sanctuary in St Columb scooping bronze.
Gordon Seabright, Managing Director of Eden, said: "We are incredibly proud of an award that feels really special, because it’s about an area of work that we feel particularly strongly about at Eden.
“This is a special place and we want it to be for everyone, so this award reflects all of the great work that has gone into this."
Eden runs a number of accessibility schemes for visitors including accessible parking spaces and toilets, free entry for personal assistants, manual and powered wheelchairs available for free and information provided in large print, Braille and audio formats.
During the Eden Sessions there is also a relaxed viewing area where people with additional needs can watch concerts in a less crowded area away from the arena.
Eden was previously recognised in this field as the Readers’ Choice award in the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain Awards in 2010.
Cornwall Tourism Awards organiser Robin Barker said: “It always amazes me that this industry continues to innovate and excel. When I was first involved in tourism in Cornwall back in the early 90s, most leading businesses had never heard of ‘sustainable tourism’, it was the era when many were still arguing against the need for en-suite facilities, and the internet was described in a report by a tourism IT expert as having a “rather limited market segment”.
“That was in 1997… and now look at us! The excellence and innovation shown by the winners is literally stupendous.”
Eden and the other winners will now represent Cornwall in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards and, if successful, go through to the national VisitEngland Awards.
November 4, 2016
L to R: Helen Jones, Training Manager at Purple Cloud Consultancy, Kate Francis, Eden’s Programme Producer, Chrissie Corbett, Eden’s Volunteer Coordinator, Sir Tim Rice