CUMBRIA’s place as a hotbed for green business has been underlined with six firms named in the top three per cent in Britain.
The half dozen have made the finals of the Green Tourism Goldstar Awards with five in the Lake District.
From 2,400 businesses that entered, only 60 made the finals - 30 English businesses, 22 from Scotland, one from Wales and the other from Northern Ireland.
As a county, Cumbria’s total of six making the finals is the second highest number from any area apart from the South West.
Now in its fourth year, the annual awards give prizes to those which have done the most to promote sustainability.
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This year's Cumbrian contenders and their categories include: Best Activity Centre Provider – Blencathra Field Studies Centre, Keswick and the town’s Newlands Adventure Centre.
Best B&B / Guest House - Cote How Guest House, Rydal Best Hostel - New Ing Lodge, Shap, Cumbria Best Inn / Pub - The Miners Arms, Alston Visitor Attraction - Ullswater Steamers, Glenridding All were nominated after being assessed for their innovation, cost savings and green ambassadorship.
Andrea Nicholas, of Green Tourism, said: "The awards are a recognition of the best of the best in Britain when it comes to creating and maintaining a thriving sustainable tourism industry. These finalists represent the best of the best - the top 3 per cent of Green Tourism businesses in the UK.
“The standard has been exceptionally high this year and every one of the shortlisted finalists have shown a dedicated commitment to providing consumers with great service and value for money while at the same time championing the cause of sustainability.”
The Green Tourism organisation was launched 17 years ago and is now the biggest of its kind in the world.
It says it has helped nearly 10,000 businesses improve their commitment to sustainability.
It is considered one of the most rigorous of its kind and is the only certification programme independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and endorsed by VisitScotland and Failte Ireland.