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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 202

Date:- 22 May 2005

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The Mersey Partnership Annual Tourism Awards

THE Merseyside’s tourism industry gather on the Friday 20 May 2005 in the magnificent setting of St George’s Hall for The Mersey Partnership Annual Tourism Awards.  Representatives from hotels, bars, restaurants, attractions, venues and other tourism businesses across Merseyside are taking part in the spectacular award ceremony, organized by The Mersey Partnership and sponsored by Merseytravel, in association with The Northwest Regional Development Agency, Liverpool John Lennon Airport and the Liverpool Echo. 

Eighteen awards (see winners attached) are to be handed out in fifteen categories at the gala event, to honour the tourism businesses that are judged to be the best on Merseyside in the past year. The celebration will be hosted by TV personality Eamonn Holmes, who will be supported by BBC radio presenter and comedian Willie Miller. Entertainment will be provided by 80’s pop act China Crisis, who will perform after the prize ceremony.

Taking Sea Liverpool 2005 as its theme the stage incorporates a Victorian Merchant “ship” complete with “gang-plank” and “sails”. The individual “wave” Awards have been designed by Jessica Hay, an Arts & Design student from Liverpool Hope University College and produced by the World of Glass in St. Helens following a competition launched at the end of last year.

Martin King, Director of Tourism at the Mersey Partnership, said:- “It is with pride that we once again can show how much the hard work and outstanding achievements of the region’s tourism businesses are appreciated. The joint effort of individuals, businesses and attractions contribute to make Merseyside one of the top tourism destinations in the country.”

Merseyside attracts 10 million staying visitors every year, employs 20,000 people and is estimated to be worth £1bn. Figures estimate that Merseyside’s tourism sector in 2015 will be worth £2bn and supporting over 30,000 jobs.


Best Hotel - over 50 beds:-
Premier Travel Inn Metro, Liverpool City Centre
A convenient and welcoming hotel in the heart of Liverpool city centre, perfect for the tailor made conference, or just as a starting point to explore Merseyside with all it has to offer.
Award sponsored by Liverpool John Lennon Airport and presented by Neil Pakey, Managing Director, Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Also short listed:- Holiday Inn Liverpool City centre, Marriott City Centre

Best Tourism Website:- 
A cutting edge website, easy to navigate and full of information and fun from the amusement park in Southport.
Award sponsored by New Mind and presented by Andy Abram, Director, New Mind
Also short listed:-,

Best Conference Venue:-
The Conference Centre at LACE
LACE’s elite reputation is proven by its “Hospitality Assured Meetings” accreditation, and it is a perfect setting for conferences, beautifully situated by Sefton Park.
Award sponsored by VLM Airlines and presented by Titus Johnson, UK Regional Manager, VLM Airlines
Also short listed:- The Liverpool Gateway Centre, The Foresight Centre

Best Event of the Year:-
Liverpool Biennial
An event of significant quality for the international art community, Liverpool Biennial have managed to bring world class contemporary art to the region and making it accessible for a broad audience.
Award sponsored by Merseytravel and presented by Jim Barclay, Director of Resources, Merseytravel
Also short listed:- Mathew Street Festival, Mersey River Festival

Best Restaurant:-
London Carriage Works
Excellent food in stylish and sophisticated, yet relaxing surroundings, the London Carriage Works is a welcome addition to the city’s restaurant scene since it opened early in 2004.
Award sponsored by Liverpool Hi-Life Diners Club and presented by David Heeley, Chairman, Liverpool Hi-Life Diners Club
Also short listed:- Ego, Liverpool, and Simply Heathcotes, Liverpool

Best Bar:-
Thomas Rigby’s
A lively traditional pub that contributes to Merseyside’s reputation for being a favourable destination for pub’s with character. 
Award sponsored by Live’Smart and presented by David Wade-Smith, Chairman Live’Smart
Also short listed:- Viva City (@ Marriott City Centre), Liverpool, and Modo (Baa Baa), Liverpool

Best Performing Venue:-
Everyman and Playhouse
Another successful season for the theatres, with a varied programme of shows to please its audiences, offering an outstanding contribution that Liverpool enjoys for its theatrical quality.
Award sponsored by BBC Radio Merseyside and presented by Liam Fogarty, Acting Managing Editor, BBC Radio Merseyside
Also short listed:- Rawhide Comedy Club, Liverpool, and Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Best Visitor Attraction:- Beatles Story

Presenting the lives and music of the fabulous four in an excellent way to millions of visitors from close and far, giving the opportunity to re-live the story of John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Award sponsored by Trinity North West and North Wales and presented by Sarah Wilde, Regional Managing Director, Trinity North West and North Wales
Also short listed:- Acorn Venture Urban Farm and Norton Priory Museum and Gardens

Tourism for All Award:- Mersey Ferries

Still living up to its reputation as the most famous ferry in the world, the Mersey Ferries continue to be a great representative on the Merseyside Tourism arena and an important part of the beautiful Liverpool waterfront.
Award sponsored by Northwest Regional Development Agency and presented by Felicity Goodey, Chair of the Regional Tourism Forum, Northwest Regional Development Agency
Also short listed:- Holiday Inn Liverpool City Centre, and Acorn Venture Urban Farm

Outstanding Customer Service Venue (by public vote):-
Rawhide Comedy Club
Offers the complete night out, with dining, drinks and the cream of comedy acts brought to new locations at Liverpool’s Central Hall on Mount Pleasant, three nights a week.
Award sponsored by Liverpool Culture Company and presented by Kris Donaldson, Marketing Director, Liverpool Culture Company
Also short listed:- The Beatles Story, Liverpool, and Embassie Independent Hostel

Supporting Awards Regional Customer Care Awards (four awards, one category)

The award for outstanding customer care goes to those whose good work has already been recognised in their own locality. To win this Award the judges look for excellent communication, the ability to work under pressure, to demonstrate knowledge, possess a positive approach and provide a welcoming impression.
Awards sponsored by People 1st and presented by Andrea Higginson, Cross Sector Manager, People 1st

Michelle Holmes - The Royal Clifton Hotel
St. Helen’s:-
Anne Worswick - Tyrers Ltd
Wirral:- Jenny Calvert - Mersey Rail
Liverpool:- Jenny Snell - Crowne Plaza Liverpool

Best Small Event of the Year:- Thornton Hough Scarecrow Festival
Aiming at raising funds for the Wirral local villages enhancement and maintenance, this yearly festival is a brilliant place to get together and enjoy the community spirit.
Award sponsored by Finch Partnership and presented by Norah Kelly, Account Manager, Finch Partnership
Also short listed:- Liverpool Comedy Festival and Tate – A Secret History of Clay

Best Small Hotel – less than 50 beds:- Hope Street Hotel

This boutique-style hotel is Liverpool's first and only Design Hotel for visitors looking to stay in style and luxury, and it has gained a great reputation 

...continued... since its opening early last year.  Award sponsored by Academy of Excellence and presented by Mike Mercer, Manager, Academy of Excellence
Also short listed:- Regent Maritime Hotel and At Peel Hey Family Guest House 

Hospitality and Tourism Apprentice of the Year:-
Sarah Drennan, Rendezvous, Wallasey, Wirral
A new award for this year to encourage individuals entering the tourism business.
Award sponsored by Greater Merseyside Learning and Skills Council and presented by Elaine Bowker, Executive Director, Greater Merseyside Learning and Skills Council)
Also short listed:- Dominic Strang, Pleasureland, Southport and Gary Byrne, Jug and Bottle, Heswall, Wirral

Small Tourism Business:-
The Piazza
A lovely little café perfectly situated at the bottom of the Metropolitan Cathedral stairs, this new venue provides a range of speciality coffees, freshly made food, beers, wines and friendly staff.
Award sponsored by Business Link for Greater Merseyside and presented by Jo Bowen-Jones, Enterprise Development Director, Business Link for Greater Merseyside
Also short listed:- Acorn Venture Urban Farm and At Peel Hey Family Guest House

Government’s Marine Bill pledge welcomed

LANCASHIRE people played a part in shaping the content of the Queen’s Speech by lobbying the Prime Minister to introduce a Marine Bill to save the sea life off the UK’s coasts.

Environmental organisations today welcomed the inclusion of a draft Marine Bill in the Queen’s Speech programme of legislation for the new session of parliament, but called on the Government to move quickly to bring forward a full bill.

Thousands of people throughout Lancashire sent Safeguard Our Sea life postcards to Mr Blair. They also signed petitions and these will be handed into Downing Street next month.

The postcards were available at RSPB reserves on the North-West coast and at RSPB-organised Big Seawatch events in February

The Labour Party manifesto promised to pass a Marine Act to introduce a new framework for managing the seas around the UK, so the inclusion of the draft Bill in the Government’s programme is welcome.

Ben Stafford, Chairman of Wildlife and Countryside Link’s marine campaign, said:- “We are pleased to see the inclusion of this draft bill pledge in the Government’s programme, and we will be campaigning to ensure that the bill makes better protection of marine wildlife a priority. 

The marine environment provides the basis for an increasing number of economic activities, but without efficient planning and management of these our marine resources and wildlife will continue to suffer.

What is vitally important now is that the Government presses ahead quickly with this draft bill, so that a full bill can be introduced at the earliest opportunity. Britain’s rich marine wildlife has been damaged through years of neglect, over-exploitation and inappropriate development. There is now an opportunity to make real change, and Ministers must seize it.”

Hundreds of MPs poised to go back to school

UNTIL the 10 June, newly and re-elected MPs across the UK will be visiting schools in their constituencies in a bid to highlight the fact that 100 million children worldwide receive no education.

Over 400 MPs are expected to take part in the Send My Friend To School campaign, which is organised by the Global Campaign for Education, a coalition of teachers' unions and development organisations including ActionAid, ALT, Comic Relief, NASUWT, NUT, Oxfam, Plan International, Sight Savers International and VSO. 

MPs who go back to school will be helping pupils make cut-out figures, dubbed 'buddies', to represent the hundred million children out of school across the world. The buddies will be presented to world leaders when they meet for the G8 summit in July, reminding them of their promise to make sure all children have access to primary education by 2015.

66% of the children who don't go to school are girls, yet research shows that educating women is the single most effective tool for development. The children of women who have completed primary education are on average twice as likely to survive beyond the age of 5, and half as likely to suffer from malnutrition. 

The Liverpool Women's 10K Run

AT Sefton Park, 11am was a cool morning that greeted the 4000 runners at the event. "Perfect conditions for running" said the event Clark of the course, and so it was.

Mary Peters watched from the start, as this the 19th running of the event got under way. From the moment the starters gun went, last year's winner 28 year old student Helen Lawrence set the pace. 34 minutes 21 seconds later she crossed the finish line, beating her time from last year. Liverpool Harriers runners Laura Carney and Cristine Murphy who went on to claim the Team Prize closely followed her.

The sun broke through at midday just as the remaining competitors were making there own way in. the event sponsored for the 4th year by 'Worst Kept Secret' a project to raise awareness to domestic violence on Merseyside. 

Councillor Warren Bradley praised the event organisation:- "…of bringing an event to grow into a truly international event". Projections say that by 2008 the event should have 5000 runners from all over the UK and Europe.

He also said:- "Today has been fantastic, the setting of Sefton Park, the weather and the crowds as well as everyone who competed."


A Merseyside woman who followed her mother's dying wish for her to become a nurse joined 200 health professionals who graduated from Edge Hill with nursing and midwifery degrees and diplomas on Saturday. It is 5 years since 30-year-old Collette Hitchmough from West Derby, nursed her terminally ill mother, with her sister Sandra. Now her mother's wish has come true as Collette graduated with a Diploma in Adult Nursing and looks forward to a career in peri-operative care at Leeds General Infirmary.

Collette said:- "I used to work as a telephone operator for a deaf charity but I spent a lot of time caring for my mum during her illness. She encouraged me to take up nursing professionally as she said that I would make a really good nurse. I didn't think at the time that I would. It seemed natural for me to care for my mum when she was ill and not really a vocation."

But following her mother's death in 2001 Collette decided to enrol on the Diploma in Nursing based at Edge Hill's Aintree Campus and since that time she has never looked back.

"I wasn't sure which area of nursing to follow. My experience of caring for my mum and also my nan before they died led me towards a career in palliative care and I worked in the Marie Curie Hospice for a time."

Collette then went on to carry out a placement assisting surgeons in the operating theatre and enjoyed the experience so much that she decided to specialise in theatre nursing.

"I really enjoyed the very different environment of perioperative care and was able to change my route on the course to specialise in theatre nursing. I like to think that my mum would be proud of me and although it's been hard work I'm thrilled to graduate with my diploma."

Collette is looking forward to taking a well-earned break on an all expenses paid holiday to Cuba, courtesy of the ITV shows Celebrities under Pressure. Having been chosen from around 500 families to take part in the show broadcast last year, Collette, who lives with her sister, shared their home with Neighbours actor Daniel McPherson who completed a challenge to win them the luxury holiday.

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