Eden Project wins national award for inclusivity
The Eden Project has been named the country’s best visitor attraction for inclusivity at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.
It won the category for Inclusive Tourism at a prestigious ceremony held at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in central London this week (April 24).
Now in their 28th year, the VisitEngland awards attracted a record 600 applicants across 22 categories this year and competition was particularly fierce.
Eden was competing for the Inclusive Tourism award with two other finalists – the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and The Deep aquarium in Yorkshire.
Gordon Seabright, Eden’s Managing Director, said: “We are so proud to win this national award for all the work we do on inclusivity to enable everyone to visit Eden.
“One of our most exciting recent developments is our fully-accessible Cloud Bridge in the Rainforest Biome where all our visitors can experience travelling through swirling rainclouds.
“We want to pay tribute to our whole team who have worked so hard in making Eden a special place for everyone.”
VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The Awards shine a spotlight on an industry driven by the highest-calibre people and organisations who deliver unforgettable experiences for visitors, raising the profile of England as a world-class destination and driving the economic benefits of tourism across the regions.”
Eden runs a number of accessibility schemes for visitors from providing easy access into what was once an old clay mine, to enabling visitors to view the treetops of the largest rainforest in captivity.
There are 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 a relaxed viewing area where people with additional needs can watch concerts in a less crowded area away from the arena.
Over the past decade Eden has worked closely with the Sensory Trust to ensure it is as accessible and engaging as possible for all staff and visitors. This has included access reviews, equality and diversity training, inclusive design advice, accessible information, sensory design and creative community engagement.
For more details on Eden go to www.edenproject.com
From left: Eden’s Operations Manager Dave Folland, Managing Director Gordon Seabright and Visitor Experience Manager Jude Thorn with the VisitEngland Award for Excellence in Inclusive Tourism at the fully-accessible Cloud Bridge in the Rainforest Biome.