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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 187

Date:- 12 February 2005

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MERSEYSIDE'S thriving tourism industry is set to take centre stage from this week as nominations for the top tourist hotspots get underway.

The Mersey Partnership Annual Tourism Awards, sponsored by Merseytravel, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and Liverpool John Lennon Airport, are a celebration of the region's flourishing tourism sector and will take place on Friday 20 May. 
Last year, 15 awards were handed out at a dazzling gala awards ceremony in St George's Hall to the people, attractions and events that were judged to be the exceptional candidates for their contribution to tourism on Merseyside. 

This year sees a brand new award being handed out - Hospitality and Tourism Apprentice of the Year - which is being presented in conjunction with the Learning and Skills Council.

Martin King, Director of Tourism at The Mersey Partnership, said:- "Every year Merseyside's tourism industry gets stronger and every year our top performers are rewarded for their hard work, innovation and exceptional skill. Without the drive and enthusiasm of a quality tourism sector, we wouldn't be welcoming the millions of visitors we do each year. Good luck to all entries!"

The awards are open to all hotels, bars, restaurants, attractions, venues and other tourism businesses across the whole of Merseyside.

The theme of this year's awards is Sea Liverpool, a celebration of Merseyside's maritime past, which is part of the build up to European Capital of Culture 2008, and tied in with VisitBritain's SeaBritain 2005.
The awards to be presented on the night have been designed by Art & Design students at Liverpool Hope University, who were asked to submit their entries before Christmas. The winner will be announced shortly.

Last year saw a number of significant new developments in Merseyside's tourism industry. New hotels such as the Radisson SAS and the Hope Street Hotel received nationwide praise for their exceptional service and innovative design. Southport's Warehouse Brasserie became Merseyside's only restaurant with 2 AA Good Food Guide rosettes, while other quality restaurants such as the Olive Press and Picolinos opened their doors to the public. Nowhere better is Merseyside's boom more present than at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which was used by 3.4m people last year, and introduced 20 new routes, including Berlin, Cologne, Basel and Girona.

Cllr Mark Dowd, OBE, Chairman of the Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority, said:- "Merseytravel is delighted to be sponsoring the Merseyside Tourism Awards yet again, especial given our Mersey Ferries operation, for this year's theme of Sea Liverpool. I congratulate all the nominees on reaching the final round of judging as a result of their hard work, dedication and quality of service."

Peter Mearns, NWDA Director of Marketing, said:- "The NWDA is pleased to support the Mersey Partnership Annual Tourism Awards. Tourism is an increasingly important component of the regional economy and we look forward to celebrating some of the best of what Merseyside has to offer. Winners on Merseyside will go on to compete in the coveted Northwest Tourism awards. This prestigious awards ceremony will showcase the kind of quality that visitors can come to expect in the region and will encourage everyone in the industry to raise their standards to compete with the best."

Neil Pakey, who is Chair of Mersey Tourism and Managing Director of Liverpool John Lennon Airport commented, "These prestigious awards showcase the best of the region's tourism industry and the quality of nominees is improving each year. With an additional 23 international routes due to be linked to the Airport by this Summer, the strength of Merseyside's diverse and growing tourism industry should continue to attract even more visitors."

Entry into The Mersey Partnership Annual Tourism Awards is open to all tourism businesses across Merseyside. The closing date for entry is Tuesday 29 March 2005. Entry forms are available by email - - with the details of your company and the category or categories you wish to enter. An independent panel of judges and a shortlist announced thereafter will judge the entries. 
The award for Outstanding Customer Service Venue is via public voting - you can register your vote at .

The full list of categories:-

1. Best Hotel - over 50 Beds
2. Best Tourism Website
3. Best Conference Venue
4. Best Event of the Year
5. Best Restaurant 
6. Best Bar 
7. Best Performing Venue
8. Best Visitor Attraction 
9. Tourism for All Award
10. Outstanding Customer Service Venue * 

Supporting Awards:-

1. Southport Award for Customer Care **
1. St Helens Award for Customer Care **
1. Wirral Award for Customer Care **
1. Liverpool Award for Customer Care **
2. Best Small Event of the Year
3. Best Small Hotel - less than 50 Beds
4. Hospitality and Tourism Apprentice of the Year 
5. Small Tourism Business Award 

* Donates awards that are nominated by public voting

** Awards already decided on a sub-regional level


REGAIN is a charity that provides support by purchasing equipment to help people who are severely paralysed lead more independent lives. There is someone in nearly every town in Britain who has broken their back while taking part in sporting activities like rugby, horse riding, diving, and cycling. Now the charity is heading to Kenya to help them buy more equipment following the huge success of their previous fundraising cycling challenges for able-bodied and disabled cyclists.

REGAIN is currently looking for able-bodied riders to join their next fundraising adventure - The Africa Bike Ride in Kenya - cycling 400kms over 5 days from the slopes of Mount Kenya to Lake Victoria through the Rift Valley from 19 - 28 November 2005. 3 tetraplegic hand cyclists are already registered to take part.
Paralysed cyclists have taken part in rides in Malawi, Spain, South Africa and Cuba using specialist hand cycles provided by the charity and helping to raise more than £300,000 for REGAIN - the only charitable organisation dedicated solely to improving the lives of men and women who become tetraplegic as the result of a sporting accident.

Tetraplegic Brendan Fitzgerald took part in the event in Malawi. He broke his back three years ago and was helped by the charity to purchase a specially adapted wheelchair so that he can play wheelchair rugby. Brendan said:- "Regain has helped me to continue playing sport and regain my independence. I decided to take up the challenge not only to raise money for other tetraplegics, but also to show people that being severely paralysed doesn't mean that your life is over. This is a great opportunity for people of all abilities to get together and help raise desperately needed funds."

To take part in The Africa Bike Ride you will need to pay a registration fee of £250 and then raise a minimum of £2,500 sponsorship for REGAIN. In return you will receive bikes, flights, food, accommodation, guides etc. for the entire challenge. 

For further information about the challenge and an application form telephone Ann Frampton on 0845 408 2698.

Who wants to be a Hug supporter?

HELP the Aged is calling on local people to get involved in a Hug Quiz, which is supported by celebrity Quizmaster Chris Tarrant. Throughout April 2005 thousands of people nationwide will be coming together to take part in the first ever Hug Quiz from Help the Aged. It aims to become the biggest intergenerational quiz in history, and will raise funds and awareness around the Charity's new campaign, Hug, to help end loneliness among older people. 
Hug stands for Helping Unite Generations and aims to get the nation thinking about those older people who are experiencing loneliness, and raise funds, while uniting all in recognising and appreciating the value of intergenerational relationships. The Hug Quiz will bring family, friends and colleagues together, and with all questions in the quiz designed around a 'generations' theme, the winning teams are sure to be a mixture of both young and old.

For those that fancy themselves as a bit of a Chris Tarrant, there is the option of hosting a Hug Quiz. All quizzes are very easy to organise with a little help from Help the Aged, and can be held anywhere from people's houses to schools, pubs, community centres or work places during Hug Month in April. However, there are lots of other ways to get involved in the Hug campaign, including purchasing and proudly wearing Hug badges and awareness bands, and giving generously on Hug Day, on 22 April, which is when collecting teams will hit the streets across the UK.
Help the Aged is calling on people to get involved in a Hug Quiz, either as a host or participant, and everyone can be sure that they will be taking part in a fun and entertaining event, while raising essential funds to provide support services which help older people live more valued and fulfilled lives.

All the information you need to set up your fun-packed Hug Quiz is included in our special Hug fundraising pack supported by Chris Tarrant. It's that simple, just check out the step-by-step guide that's brimming with handy tips and advice as well as questions and answer sheets, balloons, posters, invitations and lots, lots more. Hug Quiz packs will be available from 1 March. 

For further information and a fundraising pack, please contact the Hug hotline on 0870 770 3288, or visit the website, and simply fill in our online form or email us at


THIS week the Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt has presented a petition in the High Court to wind-up Anderson Clarke Publications Limited in the public interest. The petition was presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986.

The Manchester-based company was concerned with the publication of a number of child safety and drugs awareness booklets for distribution to schools. The business involved cold calling businesses across the UK to solicit sponsorship payments in relation to the booklets. The registered office of the company is 7b Railway Road, Darwen, Lancashire, BB3 2RG and it carried on business from Cedar House, 2 Fairfield Street, Manchester M1 3GF, and had a telesales office at Gostin Buildings, 32-36 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 4LN. Anderson Clarke Publications Limited was incorporated in July 2002.

The petition was presented following an investigation carried out by the DTI's Companies Investigation Branch under section 447 of the Companies Act 1985 and is listed for hearing on 6 April 2005.
The Secretary of State also applied to the High Court for the appointment of the Official Receiver as the provisional liquidator of the company until the hearing of the petitions.

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