Shaftesbury TiC in the running for annual tourism award

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TiCKETY BOO: David Taylor
TiCKETY BOO: David Taylor

The community-run tourist information centre in Shaftesbury is one of several Blackmore Vale enterprises that are contenders in the Dorset Tourism Awards.

The Shaftesbury TiC is up against its counterpart in Bridport in the Visitor Information Service of the Year category, and manager David Taylor put the recognition down to his team of volunteers.

“I’m really pleased for them. They have kept Shaftesbury TiC open throughout the year, even during the lockdown periods.”

“This is because, apart from welcoming visitors to the area, we provide an essential service to residents who need to top up electricity and gas payment cards, as well as paying TV licences and collecting recycling containers. Whatever the query, our team of volunteers have stepped up to the mark and provided an incredibly high standard service, six days a week without fail. They thoroughly deserve to be recognised by these awards.”

The sales of British Legion poppies topped £1,250 last November, and Christmas card sales raised £13,000 in aid of charities including Salisbury Hospice, Julia’s House and Shaftesbury Hospital. A “large number” of visitors to Shaftesbury outside lockdown have been taking walking holidays, said David, who added: “Another large group has been people looking to relocate to the countryside who see the Blackmore Vale as an attractive option.”

A list of 60 finalists in 21 categories was published this week, with the winners to be unveiled in an online event on February 4.

Four Blackmore Vale tourism businesses are finalists in two categories. The finalists include:

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Award and Glamping Business Farmstead Glamping, Sturminster Newton

Hotel of the Year and Tourism Innovation AwardThe Grange at Oborne, Sherborne

New Tourism Businessand Self-catering AccommodationHammoon Manor ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ Retreat, Sturminster Newton

New Tourism Business and Pub of the YearThe Cross Keys, Sherborne Accessible and Inclusive Award Ellwood Cottages, Blandford

Pub of the Year The Milton Arms, Winterborne Whitechurch

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