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Blackpool Winter Gardens has been named Lancashire’s best conference venue for the third time at the county’s Tourism Awards.

The Winter Gardens team was presented with the title as Lancashire’s tourism stars were recognised at Marketing Lancashire’s annual awards evening at Blackburn Cathedral – the county’s foremost celebration of tourism excellence.

The Winter Gardens will now represent Lancashire at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016.

Conferences and events at the Winter Gardens in 2016 generated an estimated £32 million revenue for the local economy with many thousands of delegates and visitors staying overnight at resort hotels.

Michael Williams, managing director of the Winter Gardens, said: “This award is wonderful recognition for the whole Winter Gardens team who put in so much hard work and dedication to make this fantastic venue such a popular one with the organisers of large events and conferences.

“We have some of the most wonderful and historic facilities available anywhere in the UK and this is the reason why so many organisations want to host their events in Blackpool.

“Millions of pounds have been invested in the careful restoration and modernisation of our conference and event offering which bodes very well for the future and to receive this recognition is fantastic.

“We look forward to now representing Blackpool and Lancashire on the national stage once again and continuing to hosting first class conferences and events in 2017.”

Among the events to have been hosted at the Winter Gardens in 2016 have been the European Dance Championship, Junior Dance Festival, USDAW annual conference, National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs convention, the National Pensioners Convention’s Pensioner’s Parliament, the International Soul Festival, the PDC World Matchplay, Rebellion (Punk Festival), 65th Annual Blackpool Magic Convention and The British Homing World Show of the Year

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “A thriving visitor economy makes such a difference to a place. The Lancashire visitor economy is worth £3.8 billion annually and continues to grow year after year. I believe we have the people, the products and above all else the right attitude to get this county noticed and appreciated. We must be very proud of the many outstanding people and individuals here at these awards, that represent the best of what Lancashire tourism has to offer.”

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