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Fishers Laundry Group has underlined its commitment to its home town of Cupar in Fife by opening a new head office in the town.

Thistle Regional Awards

Thistle Regional Awards

The last working jute mill in Scotland and an agritourism business in Angus were among four Dundee and Angus businesses named regional winners at Scottish tourism’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Scotland's Jute Museum @ Verdant Works was awarded Best Visitor Attraction, while Newton Farm Holidays was named Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House at the Central, Fife & Tayside Regional Final of the Scottish Thistle Awards, held at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh last night (10 November), hosted by TV presenter and former Miss Scotland, Jennifer Reoch.

Built in 1833, Verdant Works is the last working jute mill in Scotland. Operated by Dundee Heritage Trust, the museum houses a collection of historic jute processing machinery, much of it over 100 years old, which has been restored to working condition to give visitors a vivid appreciation of life in the mills and factories. Thistle Award judges praised the development of the attraction as an “excellent example of collaboration”.

Gill Poulter, Heritage & Exhibitions Director of Dundee Heritage Trust said: “Scotland’s Jute Museum @ Verdant Works is thrilled to have been named Best Visitor Attraction in the Central, Fife and Tayside Regional Finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards.

“Our recent £3 million development of the High Mill, which has almost doubled the size of the museum, has created a unique cathedral-like gallery and learning space. It provides a stunning and dramatic backdrop for our new vibrant programme of events, increasing and diversifying audiences and adding to Dundee’s growing reputation as a cultural visitor destination. Customer feedback has been overwhelming positive, so to now also have this recognition from our peers in the industry is fantastic.”

Other winners from the city were: Apex City Quay (Most Hospitable Hotel) and The Royal Arch (Friendliest Pub/Bar).

Adam Newth, of The Tayberry Restaurant in Broughty Ferry, took home the new Regional Rising Star category which awards young people aged 30 and under who have shown real passion for tourism. Judges were impressed by his “passion for Scottish produce and his willingness to share that desire with others”.

Adam said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been awarded the title of Regional Rising Star at the Scottish Thistle Awards. To date, I've had a very exciting career which I'm very grateful for. The excitement continues with Tayberry Restaurant brand expanding next year. And it's great to be a part of all the local excitement with the regeneration happening in Dundee over the next few years.”

Regional winners will go on to the glittering Scottish Thistle Awards National Final held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre in March 2017.

The 2016/2017 Scottish Thistle Awards, in association with Fishers, recognises hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, visitor attractions and individuals who go the extra mile to provide customers with exceptional service.

Rebecca Brooks, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel and VisitScotland Board member, said: “A huge congratulations to all of the winners at the Central, Fife & Tayside Regional Final and I wish them the best of luck as they move forward to represent the region in the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final next year.

“It has been another record-breaking year of entries for the Scottish Thistle Awards and winners, and indeed all finalists, should be very proud of their achievements in such a highly competitive field.

“Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy – supporting communities and creating jobs throughout the year in every corner of the country.

“The Scottish tourism industry and hospitality sector prides itself on delivering a rewarding experience for visitors and success here is both recognition of excellence and innovation, and a sign of quality. It is their warm welcome, embodying the Spirit of Scotland, which makes the country a world-class destination for visitors.”

Michael Jones, Managing Director at Fishers, said:“Congratulations to all of the regional winners and finalists. The people who work in our tourism industry not only play a crucial role in the Scottish economy, but they are Scotland’s ambassadors too. Fishers also plays an important part in supporting Scotland’s tourism sector and we are proud to do so - and to be headline sponsors of the Scottish Thistle Awards. The pursuit of excellence within our industry is important for the whole sector and it's equally important that it's recognised.”

Jim Clarkson, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: “What a brilliant night for Dundee and Angus. To have five regional winners shows the breadth and depth of quality in the area’s tourism sector. Tourism is the driving force for providing the jobs of today and tomorrow and these awards recognise the tireless effort that goes into creating a memorable experience for visitors to Dundee and Angus. I wish the winners the best of luck as they go forward to represent the region at the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final.”

This year the Scottish Thistle Awards received a record-breaking number of entries, totalling 715 across the 15 regional categories, amounting to a 16% increase on last year.

The Scottish Thistle Awards are led by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, sportscotland and Wild Scotland.

The awards are divided into four regional ceremonies held in November: Central, Fife & Tayside and Lothians & Borders; West; Highlands and Islands, organised by the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards; and Aberdeen City and Shire, organised by Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.

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