Doncaster’s crowning glory, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, has been highly commended in a major tourism competition.
Gary took to the stage with Tim Firth who was also given the honour after co-writing the musical The Girls, which will premiere at Leeds Grand Theatre on November 14.
They were met with a standing ovation by more than 1,000 finalists and special guests at the annual award ceremony which is the biggest tourism event of its kind in the UK.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s exclusive film for Gary Barlow’s anthem ‘Yorkshire’ can be seen at Yorkshire.com
Watched by the original Calendar Girls, Gary Barlow told the audience: “This is amazing. I’ve got many awards but believe me this is going right in the middle of them. The reaction here tonight shows why we’re here. I’ve always played to great audiences here in Yorkshire and I’m hoping for that for the show.”
Tim Firth added: “As the son of a man from Doncaster and Leeds United supporter this is a very proud night for me.”
Guests included Lizzie Jones, the widow of rugby league star Danny Jones, who opened the show, the original Calendar Girls, Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos players as well as stars from Emmerdale. Leeds’ Nile Wilson was also at the event fresh from helping to take Britain to an historic Gymnastics World Championships team silver.
Winners were announced across 16 categories ranging from Large Visitor Attraction to Yorkshire Restaurant of the Year at the event at first direct arena Leeds.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s Cheryl Williams said: “We were delighted to be highly commended after another record breaking year for Yorkshire Wildlife Park.”
Small Visitor Attraction - Burton Agnes Hall and Gardens, Driffield.
Large Visitor Attraction - The Forbidden Corner, Leyburn
Taste of Yorkshire Award - Lottie Shaw’s Bakery, Leeds
Self-Catering, Cruisers and Serviced Apartments Award -Dovecote Barns, York
Yorkshire Pub - Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax
Yorkshire Restaurant - The Hare Restaurant, Scawton
Tourism Event - The Best Race in the World, The Juddmonte International, York
Caravan Holiday Park & Holiday Village Award - Humble Bee Farm, Scarborough
Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation - Low Mill Guest House, Bainbridge
Large Hotel - The Black Swan Hotel, Helmsley
Small Hotel / Townhouse - Yorebridge House, Bainbridge
Business Tourism Award - The Coniston Hotel & Country Estate, Skipton
Restaurant with Rooms - The Cleveland Tontine, Northallerton
Visitor Information Award - Thirsk Tourist Information, Thirsk
Yorkshire Arts & Culture Award - Hull Truck Theatre, Hull
Outstanding Customer Service Award - Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract
Taste of Yorkshire: Tipple Tails at Wadsley Hall Farm Kitchen
Small Attraction of the Year: Yorkshire Trike Tours
Large Attraction of the Year: Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Self Catering, Cruisers & Serviced Apartments Award: Shire Cruisers
Tourism Event of the Year: The Freedom Festival, Hull
Small Hotel/Townhouse: Beverley Tickton Grange Hotel
Business Tourism Award: Bedern Hall, York
Arts & Culture Award: Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “What a night! We are proud to have been supported by such a mix of Yorkshire heroes as well as having one of the world’s biggest pop icons on stage with us.
“We are thrilled to have Gary Barlow and Tim Firth as honorary Yorkshiremen. They have done an incredible job of telling an extraordinary tale about a group of ordinary Yorkshire women and I am sure The Girls will be a major success.
“And a very special thank you must go to all our winners for their achievement and their hard work. Winning a White Rose Award is a prestigious seal of approval, which helps show customers the high standards that each winner displays every day.”
The awards, run by official tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, are the biggest tourism awards in the UK and have been recognising tourism stars for more than 25 years.
Chair of the independent panel of judges, Professor Colin Mellors, added: “Each year the task of selecting winners, and those we wish to commend, gets tougher. The sheer range of what is on offer is remarkable and the quality of hospitality truly outstanding.
“All those shortlisted can feel huge pride in making it this far. Their work is at the heart of our leading tourism sector and underpins the broader visitor economy that is so important to Yorkshire. The White Rose Awards are an important way to celebrate and acknowledge their many achievements.”
The awards were backed by leading businesses including The HQ Collection (HQ Hospitality & Qdos Entertainment), Yorkshire Post, Carat, Beaver Furniture, Bluefin Insurance, The HQ Collection (HQ Hospitality & Qdos Entertainment), British Gas, Biffa, Yorkshire Water, House of Townend , Yorkshire Beer and Pub Association, eviivo, BBC Yorkshire, Colour Heroes, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Ingrid Flute’s Yorkshire Holiday Cottages and Barclays.
* Enjoy a glittering evening of fine dining and live music, whilst raising money for animal welfare and conservation.
The annual Snow Ball takes place on November 14 in the ice-themed Tsavo Lodge with a chilled champagne reception and a four course meal.
There will be a grand charity auction, including an African safari holiday courtesy of Mantis Hotels and an exclusive Yorkshire Wildlife Park tour including a flight over the park, a VIP tour and a night in the 4 star Crown Hotel in Bawtry for two people.
All money raised on the evening from tickets and the auction will fund a variety of conservation projects supported by Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation.
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