Friday, February 5, 2016 - 16:00

The Eden Project won a gold award in the Large Attraction of the Year category of the South West Tourism Awards last night (Thursday).

Eden also won a silver award in the Sustainable Tourism category.

The awards were presented at a black tie dinner in Exeter Cathedral, with the ceremony representing the grand final of the 10-month regional awards programme.

Gordon Seabright, Managing Director of the Eden Project, said: “We’re proud and pleased to have won these prestigious awards. It’s a great honour to be recognised as one of the South West’s leading large tourist attractions and we would like to thank the judges and congratulate everyone else who won last night.”

In the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category, Salisbury Cathedral also won a gold award. Silver awards were given to Moors Valley Country Park and Forest in Ashley Heath, Dorset, Pennywell Farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon and RHS Garden Rosemoor in Great Torrington, Devon. Brunel's ss Great Britain in Bristol won a bronze award.

In the Sustainable Tourism category, Railholiday Ltd in Saltash won the gold award and the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth won silver alongside Eden. Bronze awards went to Higher Wiscombe in Colyton, Devon, Mazzard Farm in Ottery St Mary, Devon and Woodovis Park in Gulworthy, Devon.

The honours are the latest in a series of accolades that Eden has won recently. In November, Eden won gold in the Large Attraction of the Year category and silver in the Sustainable Tourism category of the Cornwall Tourism Awards.

Shortly afterwards, Eden was named Best UK Leisure Attraction at the British Travel Awards for an unprecedented fifth year in a row. It also won the Green category at the inaugural National Geographic Traveller Reader Awards in the same month.

The South West awards are the biggest scheme of their kind and follow a rigorous three stage judging process.

Run with the support of South West Water Business Services, they attracted entries from as far afield as Salisbury in the east, the Isles of Scilly in the west and Cirencester in the north.  Successful entries from the Dorset, Cornwall and Devon Tourism Awards were all considered, alongside direct entries from Wiltshire, Somerset, Bath, Bristol and Gloucestershire.

Entrants underwent a rigorous short-listing process with visits carried out by a team of 42 judges and mystery shoppers. All entrants have received feedback on their entry, giving them the best opportunity both to make improvements to their business and hone their entry in future years.