KENDAL Mountain Festival has been named as the Tourism Event of the year in a national awards ceremony.

The event beat off competition from the Ashes Test at Trent Bridge and Elemental Force at Nottingham Castle to scoop the Gold Award in their category at VisitEngland’s Awards For Excellence.

The result was announced on Monday night at a glittering event at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Finalists from across the country gathered to see if they had won a commendation or a bronze, silver or gold award across 15 categories.

“It’s a huge award, and a massive tribute to all involved in the Festival” said a stunned Clive Allen, one of the three KMF directors alongside Steve Scott and Matt Burke.

“And, of course, it’s a big thumbs-up to Kendal as a location that is developing a reputation nationally as a centre for festivals.

“With recent developments such as our link-up with Channel 4 television, and a new KMF On The Edge summer event in Langdale this July, it’s an exciting time for us.

“First and foremost, however, the award is recognition for our organising team including Claire Wickham, Adam Simpson, Ian Gray, Debbie McGowan and Andy Perkins, not forgetting of course Robin Ashcroft who left us recently.”

Kendal Mountain Festival has grown into an event that attracts more than 10,000 people into the area each November and brings an estimated £2m into the local economy.