KENDAL Mountain Fe-tival has been named as the Tourism Event of the Year at a national awards ceremony.
It beat off competition from the Ashes Test at Trent Bridge and Ele-mental Force at Nottingham Castle to scoop the Gold Award in its category at the annual VisitEngland Awards For Excellence.
The result was announced at a glittering event at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Finalists from across the country gathered to see if they had won a gong or a commendation across 15 categories.
“It’s a huge award, and a massive tribute to all involved in the Festival,” said Clive Allen, one of the three KMF directors alongside Steve Scott and Matt Burke.
“And it’s a big thumbs-up to Kendal as a location that is deve-loping a reputation nationally as a centre for festivals.
“With recent developments such as our link-up with Channel 4 TV, 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 team of Claire Wickham, Adam Simpson, Ian Gray, Debbie McGowan and Andy Perkins, plus 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.
The Watermill Inn and Brewery at Ings received the silver award for Tourism Pub of the Year and there was a bronze award for the Rothay Garden, Grasmere, in the Small Hotel of the Year category.
Cumbria County Council’s Geoff Cook said of the winners: “They have showcased to a national audience the tremen-dous quality and variety of tourism enterprises in the county.
“I’m especially pleased the Mountain Festival received the top award. From relatively small beginnings, it has grown into the largest event of its kind in the world and provides a huge boost to the local economy by bringing thousands of people to the area each year.”
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Now in their 25th year, the VisitEngland Awards celebrate tourism industry excellence and provide a platform to showcase the very best that England has to offer.