Disability-friendly hotels and tourist attractions have been recognised for their efforts to boost inclusivity at the inaugural Blue Badge Access Awards.
Thirteen companies were recognised at the ceremony on Tuesday evening (8 October).
The awards were set up to celebrate thoughtful, stylish and inclusive design and business practices, with support from the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity.
Sea Containers won the Best Hotel award, while Kings Head Hotel Cirencester bagged the Best Boutique Hotel category. Cottages in the Dales won the People’s Choice award.
Woodhorn Museum in Ashington won Historic England’s Inclusive Listed Building award, with the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel in London receiving a commendation.
One of the UK’s largest aquariums, The Deep, was awarded the Arnold Fewell Most Inclusive award, with Hull’s Omnipods and Cabins commended in that category.
Moor Hall Hotel came up trumps for the Above and Beyond award.
Fiona Jarvis, founder of Blue Badge Style, said: “Nowhere can be 100% accessible but everyone can start somewhere.
“There is tremendous public interest in the area of accessible design, with a strong desire to honour and recognise businesses that go the extra mile for their customers.
“We are delighted to champion these venues with Blue Badge Access Awards and will continue to do so to amplify enthusiasm across the hospitality sector, as well as wider tourist attractions, museums, and public organisations."
The Blue Badge Access Awards merges the Bespoke Access Awards and Blue Badge Style, and was created in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects and Design Council.
The 2019 judging panel included: Fiona Jarvis; Tina Norden, partner at Conran and Partners; journalist Alex Taylor; Paul Vaughan of Bespoke Access; Neil Heslop, chief executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability; and Karen Fewell, daughter of Arnold Fewell.
British stand-up comedian, writer, actor and disability rights campaigner Laurence Clark performed at the awards ceremony.
There was also an inclusive fashion show from SB, an online department store.