Salisbury Cathedral awarded a Visit England Attraction Accolade
Salisbury Cathedral has been awarded a VisitEngland 2021-22 Visitor Attraction Accolade for Best Told Story (South West). The award follows a major revamp of the Cathedral’s interpretation, undertaken in 2021 during lockdown with support from the Culture Recovery Fund, a fund set up to help the visitor economy recover from the impact of the pandemic.
The Cathedral interpretation project, commissioned in Autumn 2020, was led by Dr Polly Richards, an interpretation and masterplanning consultant, and was implemented by staff with support from volunteer guides. The changes focused on the main Cathedral Floor experience, ensuring the Cathedral and Christian stories were shared engagingly and inclusively. New objects and archive materials were introduced, and new signage including videos accessed by QR codes, was commissioned.
Jane Morgan, Director of External Relations and Visitor Experience said:
“We are thrilled that the work undertaken by Polly and our team has been recognised by Visit England. Heritage buildings like the Cathedral are an important part of our region’s history, in particular here in Salisbury, where it is woven into the city’s story and has its roots in Old Sarum. The hardest thing is moulding that rich seam of information into interpretation that is concise and accessible. It has certainly been well received by our visitors.”
A second project to review and update the Magna Carta exhibition is already underway and should be completed in early 2023.
Salisbury Cathedral received its award alongside 97 other attractions across the country, recognised for the outstanding experiences they provide to visitors across categories including Welcome, Best Told Story, Quality Food & Drink, Hidden Gem and Gold for overall winners. The winning attractions have gained the accolades based on scores received following their annual VisitEngland Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme assessments. Marks were allocated to the 97 attractions for the outstanding experiences they provide to visitors across categories including Welcome, Best Told Story, Quality Food & Drink, Hidden Gem and Gold for overall winners.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said:
“It’s so exciting to see our brilliant attractions providing outstanding experiences for visitors and to recognise and showcase the variety and quality across the country. England has unmissable visitor attractions and experiences that deliver world-class customer service. They also provide the warmest of welcomes and unforgettable storytelling that connects the whole experience, including retail and food and drink offers that exceed expectations.”
Introduced in 2014, the accolades are available to VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme participants across a wide range of tourism experiences in England from museums and galleries, farm attractions, historic houses and gardens to churches, cathedrals and country parks. Participating attractions are supported by a network of highly trained and experienced assessors who advise them on improving and promoting the quality, accessibility and sustainability of their offer.”
Tourism is one of England’s largest and most valuable industries, supporting hundreds of thousands of businesses, employing about 2.6 million people and, in 2019, generating £76 billion in domestic visitor spending.