Thousands of people enjoyed a festive Royal Welsh Winter Fair, held at the showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells on Monday and Tuesday.
First staged in 1990 and originally just a modest one-day event, the event has become one of the most popular attractions in the British agricultural calendar. The annual event continues to maintain its position as one of the finest prime stock shows in the UK, this year attracting more than 600 exhibitors from Wales, England and Scotland.
The 2023 Winter Fair was officially opened by NFU Cymru deputy president, Abi Reader on Monday on behalf of the feature county of Glamorgan. Abi is a third generation mixed farmer and co-founder of the educational project Cows on Tour.
During her speech, she touched on two key messages, the first being how the Winter Fair plays an important role in showcasing all the hard work that farmers do all year round.
“The agricultural sector spends the entire year preparing for winter.” said Abi. “We spend spring, summer and the autumn lambing, calving, planning, harvesting our crops, making sure everything works within the best of our control. When we come here today, this is the showcase of the fruits of our labour.
“What we have here at the Winter Fair is what I would call Europe's finest prime stock show, celebrating Welsh beef, Welsh lamb, Welsh pork, everything that encompasses the heart of rural Wales.”
Abi conveyed the essential role of UK farmers is feeding the nation. “As food producers and carers of the landscape, we have the absolute honour to touch more lives than any other profession on this globe. We are with people in the best and worst of times. They may not even know that we are there, but our produce is somewhere in the background.
“Society relies on us to continue our commitment to produce the finest, safest, most nutritious and affordable Welsh food that we possibly can.”
Another key theme at this year’s Winter Fair was education, with the launch of the new educational programme, Ein Tir / Our Land, focussing on soil and healthy farming principles.
“We have 300 primary school children and 350 secondary school children here attending the programme over the next two days to convey who we are and what we do. These could be our future farmers and future industry sector leaders,” added Abi.
“The Winter Fair is stepping up to the role that it will play in making sure we inspire the next generation.”
For the first time, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society(RWAS) offered free entry to all organised school trips for children under the age of 16. After receiving an incredible response to this, the society was delighted to welcome more than 2,667 children from 53 primary and secondary schools. Schools from the length and breadth of Wales attended.
In addition, there were over 600 college students in attendance, bringing the total to more than 3,267 young people visiting the event to learn about the positive farming story.
The two-day event is an important platform for policy discussion and debate with Ministers from both the Welsh and UK Governments in attendance, together with representatives from the German and Irish Embassies, putting the event on the international map.
The RWAS is proud that the Winter Fair facilitated discussions between highly influential individuals and organisations, which affect the future of Welsh agriculture and the rural economy.
A regular Winter Fair guest, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths was pleased to be back in Llanelwedd and emphasised the important role that farmers have to play in tackling the environmental threats facing the agricultural sector.
“The Winter Fair is an important event to showcase the best of rural Wales and to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the agriculture sector, especially in responding to the climate and nature emergencies,” said the Minister.
There was excellent support for the event from the industry, especially the livestock exhibitors. With strong entries from across the UK in all sections, and record entries in the sheep section, the livestock took centre stage.
One of the most prestigious titles to be won at the event each year, the supreme cattle champion, was awarded to ‘Phoenix’, a heifer sired by a Limousin weighing 690kg, bred and exhibited by Stewart and Lynsey Bett from Stirlingshire.
Phoenix is no stranger to the Winter Fair judging rings, having taken the reserve baby beef title last year. In the post-show sale, the winning heifer was later sold by official auctioneers, McCartneys for £7,000 to Mark Webster, Rhyl.
The supreme sheep champion title went to a pair of home-bred pedigree Blue Texel lambs from Chris Davies, Powys. The prizewinners, which had earlier topped the continental section, are out of home-bred ewes from Mr Davies' 35-ewe Beaconsview flock.
The prizes in the pig shed were dominated by H.D. and E.M. Roberts, Gwynedd, whose four Welsh pigs took champion and reserve in the singles and pairs judging.
The family have won numerous championship prizes with their home-bred Welsh pigs at the Winter Fair. The champion pair went on to sell for an impressive £960 a pig to Tom Hughes Butchers, Anglesey.
Equine entries were at their highest since 2015 and the supreme horse champion was ‘Cilmery Casemiro’, a Welsh Mountain Pony colt foal exhibited by Ryan Wilson, Herefordshire.
Elsewhere on the showground, the winner of the best overall tradestand went to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) based in the South Glamorgan Hall.
This year saw in excess of 350 trade stands and more than 60stands in the Food Hall where guests were able to sample the superb produce from across Wales. The best dressed Food Hall trade stand was local honey business, Bee Welsh Honey.
“This year’s event has been tremendous,” said Winter Fair honorary director, William Hanks. “We have had exceptional visitor numbers. It was fantastic to see the showground bustling with Christmas shoppers and festivity.
“It has long been an ambition of mine to offer an educational element at the Winter Fair and, building on the positive feedback from last year, we were able to launch a very successful educational programme.
“Sharing the knowledge around agriculture, horticulture and how food is produced is vital and an initiative the Society is keen to get increasingly involved in.
“We are grateful for the huge amount of hard work and dedication from the many volunteers, stewards, traders, sponsors and, of course, the visitors who make this event possible. We hope all our guests enjoyed the Winter Fair and look forward to welcoming them back to our events next year.”
Baby beef supreme champion: One Off, a Continental heifer weighing 344kg, bred and exhibited by Berwyn and Elin Hughes, Ceredigion, which sold for £4,500 to Mr D. Leedham. Carcass supreme champion single: a Beltex, exhibited by Rebecca Armstrong which sold for £650 to Le Monde Restaurant. Carcass supreme champion pair: Beltex cross Dutch Texel lambs, exhibited by Michael Carter, Gloucester, which sold for £400 each to Le Monde Restaurant. Overall meat hamper champion: Best Meat Hamper, exhibited by Golden Valley Meat & Game, Monmouthshire. Dressed poultry: a goose exhibited by Tom Rowlands, Powys. Bacon, burger and sausage: flavoured sausages, exhibited by Daniel Tucker. Beef rib: a steer exhibited by Robin and Jo Ransome, Powys. Welsh horse champion: Brampton Ray-Royale, a Welsh Pony (Cob Type) colt foal exhibited by Nicole Wayman, South Yorkshire.
Hergest Croft Gardens woodland.
It’s official, an important Welsh Marches tourist attraction has one of the tallest trees in Great Britain!
Hergest Croft Gardens at Kington, one of the UK’s most important horticultural sites, has the third tallest tree in Great Britain, a Douglas Fir standing at 200 feet and more than 160 years old.
That’s the verdict of The Tree Register of the British Isles (TROBI) registrar, Owen Johnson, who recently visited the gardens.
The tree register is a charity which collates and records a database of notable trees throughout the UK and Ireland and has the largest database in the world.
Currently listing more than 250,000 individual trees, the register is based on the original work of the internationally acclaimed dendrologist, the late Alan Mitchell, who started this mammoth task in the early 1960s.
The register includes historical records going back 200 years which record the height and girth measurements of record trees (‘Champion Trees’) so that the growth rates and longevity can be measured.
The register not only records the largest trees of more common species; it also records details of rare and unusual trees. Hergest Croft Gardens currently has 130 ‘Champion Trees’.
"So good are the growing conditions that Hergest Croft can now boast only the third tree in England to be measured at 200 feet (61 m) tall,” said Mr Johnson. “Part of a plantation of Douglas Firs, planted most probably in 1863 in Yeld Wood, this fir grows on a very steep slope and it was only this autumn that I found a position from which to measure it precisely.
“Thanks to the steepness of the bank, the height to an average ground level - rather than to the base at the top side - is 61.5 m."
Anyone wishing to visit this tree should email firstname.lastname@example.org for the OS grid reference.
Earlier this year, Hergest Croft Gardens was one of six gardens shortlisted for the prestigious UK Garden of the Year Award, organised by the Historic Houses Association and sponsored by Christie's.
Another late summer visitor to the gardens, whilst on holiday from New Zealand, told staff about artist and fellow Kiwi, Karl Maughan.
An iconic New Zealand artist, Maughan visited Hergest Croft Gardens in 2022 and photographed the stunning azaleas and rhododendrons which inspired him to paint a 10 metre long picture entitled ‘A Clear Day’.
The paining was purchased by The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa and was recently included in an auction of Maughan' s work with a hefty price tag of £150,000.
Hergest Croft Gardens is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent company representing more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, The Welsh Marches, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
Scrooge and elves ready to welcome visitors to The Silver Mountain Experience over the festive season.
Popular Mid Wales visitor attraction, The Silver Mountain Experience, will be turned into a Christmas wonderland full of magic and joy during the festive season.
Based at Ponterwyd, just outside Aberystwyth, the attraction is preparing for the return of its sell-out Christmas event, which is running on selected dates from December 9-23.
There will be something for the whole family to enjoy, with more experiences and activities included in the entry tickets than ever before.
The Elves’ Workshop and Santa’s Grotto will be opening its doors to visitors again this year. On this magical elf-led adventure, visitors will see how the elves are busily preparing for the big day in their workshop. They will then take visitors to meet Santa himself, with a present included for all children on the ‘good list’.
There will also be a whole host of fun activities included within the ticket price, including exciting new features and festive characters to embark on adventure with.
A mischievous individual, who lives at Silver Mountain, doesn’t like Christmas! Visitors will be challenged to undertake a quest to melt his heart and change his mind. In addition, there will be a chance to explore his underground home.
Also new this year is the opportunity to join Scrooge on a Victorian Tour, to see how the miners would have celebrated Christmas 150 years ago. There’s a new Gingerbread House to visit, too.
Returning favourites, such as Christmas cookie decorating and the special Rudolph & Patches Treasure Trail, will also be included within the entry tickets, as well as the other surface attractions including the play area, Fossil Dig & Den, Museum and much more.
The Silver Mountain Experience looks truly magical when it’s lit up in pretty lights and decorations. The event is pre-book only and each timed slot for the Elves’ Workshop and Santa’s Grotto is exclusive for each group.
As well as the Christmas event, visitors can experience the thrilling on-site escape room experience Ultimate Xscape.
The Miner’s Rest Café, based at the attraction, is open to everyone, even those not visiting any attractions or events. It’s the perfect place to enjoy festive treats by the roaring fire.
The neighbouring Red Kite Café will also be open, serving delicious breakfasts and warming meals. Find out more and book online at www.silvermountainexperience.co.uk/festive/ . More information about the Red Kite Café is available at www.redkitecafe.co.uk .
The hoard of Bronze Age metalwork discovered in Ceredigion.
The Friends of Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth are seeking support to keep a nationally important hoard of Bronze Age metalwork in the county.
The exciting find of more than 50 bronze tools, weapons and body ornaments was made by metal detectorists Craig Hearne and Kieran Slade in Llangeitho in 2020.
This find of a lifetime was declared as treasure by a coroner under the Treasure Act and an opportunity was given to purchase the hoard for the sum of £4,200.
The Friends of Ceredigion Museum are now raising the funds necessary to ensure that the treasure remains in Ceredigion.
Bronze Age hoards are exceptionally rare in in Ceredigion, where only two vague historical accounts of finds had previously been registered. Their discovery offers important new understanding of the styles and metalworking traditions in Ceredigion around 3,000 years ago.
Their burial represents a considerable gathering of people, choosing to gift their prized bronze objects into the ground, probably as an expression of deep held religious beliefs.
The location of the hoards was investigated by Dyfed Archaeological Trust soon after the finds were reported as treasure, with emergency funding provided by Cadw.
Carrie Canham, Ceredigion Museum curator, said: “We’re very excited at the prospect of keeping these unique and hugely important finds in Ceredigion.
“The hoard offers an important opportunity to glean more information about our prehistoric ancestors and we congratulate the Friends of Ceredigion Museum on their tireless efforts to keep this unique treasure in Ceredigion.”
Bronwen Morgan, Friends of Ceredigion Museum president, said: "This is exciting news about a unique and rare discovery from the Bronze Age in Ceredigion. It is a treasure in the true sense of the word and we are anxious to keep it in Ceredigion.
“We will do all that we can as Friends of Ceredigion Museum to raise the funds to ensure that we and the generations to come can preserve, see and appreciate our heritage in Ceredigion. These items have been in Ceredigion for about 3,000 years and we will now try and make sure that they remain here."
To learn more and to support their efforts please visit the Friends of Ceredigion Museum website at www.friendsofceredigionmuseum.com
Speakers at the Mid Wales Tourism Conference.
Tourism and hospitality businesses across Mid Wales are being encouraged to work with Visit Wales to bring more international visitors to the region.
A sell-out Mid Wales Tourism Conference, held at the Metropole Hotel and Spa, Llandrindod Wells, heard that international tour operators are keen to bring visitors to the region.
Recognised for its culture, adventure, landscape, history and heritage, Mid Wales is being marketed by Visit Wales to countries France, Germany, Netherlands, USA and Ireland.
“Tour operators need accommodation partners and bookable attractions and experiences in Mid Wales, which have an opportunity to grow international business,” said Val Hawkins, MBE, chief executive of MWT Cymru, which organised the conference.
She also encouraged businesses to use the digital platform Tourism Exchange Great Britain and engage with travel media to attract domestic and international visitors.
Following the conference, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden said: “Mid Wales Tourism’s Annual Conference followed a series of four well attended Visit Wales Industry Roadshows where we heard from businesses and organisations across Wales.
“We see a real opportunity to grow international business to Mid Wales. We know the role that tour operators, tourism media and Tourism Exchange Great Britain can play in generating more potential business, especially internationally, which fits our tourism strategy to support seasonality, spread and spend.
“We urge interested Mid Wales providers of accommodation, attractions and experiences to work with Visit Wales and Wales-based operators to attract more international visitors.”
Steve Hughson, chairman of both the Mid Wales Regional Tourism Forum and the Event Wales Industry Advisory Group, highlighted the value of events to the Welsh economy, the tourism and hospitality sectors and local communities.
In a rallying call to Mid Wales tourism businesses, he added: “We have a hugely successful offer here, so let’s ensure that we build a strong partnership between tourism, hospitality and rural affairs that makes a positive impact on Mid Wales.”
The strong link between tourism and farming, and their importance to the Mid Wales economy and local communities, was also emphasised by Mrs Hawkins.
She revealed that MWT Cymru, a not for profit company which represents around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia, has secured funding from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund for an innovative digital project that is at its infancy.
The community-focussed project will seek to incentivise shopping in small, independent, town centre businesses across Powys. Partner towns are now being sought for the pilot project.
“There is a strong link between tourism and farming in Mid Wales and if one of these sectors struggles, then it impacts local communities,” said Mrs Hawkins. “The visitor economy is very much linked to local economy and we have looked at how we can better support our local communities to become more sustainable.
“MWT Cymru has developed a reputation for being ahead of the game in terms of technology and I would like to think we are doing the same again with this new project which will help not just the tourism industry but small, independent businesses in local towns as well.”
Other speakers at the conference, themed ‘Embracing Tomorrow's Tourism: Communities, Innovation and Business’, included Guy Edwards, manager of MWT Cymru’s new project and Charles Symons, co-founder of Buzzmint, who spoke about the opportunities for empowering connected communities and circular economies using Web 3.0.
In a section titled ‘Empowering businesses with practical solutions’, Rhys Mullan from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, spoke about fire safety law, Ruth Partridge, WRAP Cymru project manager, spoke about recycling and waste management law changes and Gareth Jones, chartered accountant, spoke about revenue management with some cost saving advice.
MWT Cymru chairman Rowland Rees-Evans congratulated Mrs Hawkins on being awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours and thanked her for her hard work for the company over the past 24 years.
Places available for BIM and BTTS 2024:
Britain and Ireland Marketplace (BIM) 2024
There are still limited places available to attend Britain and Ireland Marketplace on 26 January 2024 at the InterContinental London, the O2. As VisitBritain will be hosting 120 overseas buyers from North America, Asia and across Europe at the event, this is a unique opportunity to meet face to face in the UK with key international and UK based operators. In so doing, BIM will bring together the very best British and Irish tourism products under one roof and gives you the opportunity to meet with key global decision makers from high quality buyers in a series of one-to-one appointments - from bespoke small tour operators to group operators; they are all ready to contract the best of British and Irish tourism products. More details available here.
British Travel and Tourism Show (BTTS) 2024
Pods are still available in the ‘Wales Pavilion’ at BTTS, on 20 & 21 March 2024 at the NEC in Birmingham. The exhibition provides a great opportunity to promote your tourism business at the leading domestic business to business (B2B) event for the Travel Trade market and it is expected to attract 3,000 travel trade buyers. Visit Wales has secured space for up to 16 pods and has negotiated a reduced rate with the event organisers
If you are interested in attending please contact Lloyd Jones on 01733 889684 or email email@example.com. Please note that if you do attend, your pod must be manned on both days, with only 2 people at one time.
If you have any questions, you can also contact the Visit Wales Travel Trade Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tourism leaders have called on Welsh Government ministers to listen to the industry when developing policies that will impact businesses.
The call came from Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) chairman Suzy Davies and Steve Hughson, chairman of both the Mid Wales Regional Tourism Forum and the Event Wales Industry Advisory Group, when speaking at the Mid Wales Tourism Conference.
The sell-out conference, which attracted 120 delegates as well as exhibitors and sponsors, was held at the Metropole Hotel and Spa, Llandrindod Wells. The event was organised by MWT Cymru, an independent organisation representing around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
Mrs Davies said the WTA, which represents around 6,000 businesses in all sectors of tourism industry across Wales, was working with others to restore the industry’s relationship with the Welsh Government.
There had been a breakdown in communications stemming from the introduction of the 182-day rule for self-catering accommodation in Wales. Self-catering accommodation that fails to be occupied for 182 days of the year now risks paying much higher council tax.
The WTA has been talking to the Welsh Government about the impact of the 182-day rule, a tourism tax and statutory registration of tourism accommodation, but Mrs Davies said it had not been listening and businesses had lost faith in the consultation processes.
“The current engagement structures don’t work for either the Welsh Government or the tourism industry,” she added. “The industry must be in the room when the Welsh Government shapes and designs policy and we need to be listened to.”
She said there were signs that the Welsh Government was now beginning to listen to the industry’s collective voice, as a review of the 182-day rule had been promised and the tourism tax had been delayed until 2027.
“There is now a much better understanding of what we have been all saying for the past 18 months,” she added. “We must never find ourselves in this position again which is why we have organised a symposium in Newtown in January and we hope the Welsh Government will attend.”
Mr Hughson also stressed the importance of a united tourism industry working closely with the Welsh Government to influence and shape policies to ensure that they work well when introduced.
“We can get the Welsh Government and Visit Wales to change, so long as we work in partnership in a polite, respectful and evidence-based way,” he said. “It has never been more important that we work together.”
Regional tourism forums across Wales had an important role in making Welsh Government ministers in different policy areas aware of the cumulative effect of their policies on the tourism industry, he added.
MWT Cymru chairman Rowland Rees-Evans thanked both Mrs Davies and Mr Hughson for their work on behalf of tourism businesses during a challenging time for the industry.
He referred to four consultation papers issued by the Welsh Government. “They will undoubtedly have a major impact on the industry when the legislation is implemented,” he said.
“We are already starting to see the effect of 182-day rule on self-catering holidays. As it stands at the moment, next year we will also have full business rates to contend with, among other changes.
“MWT Cymru has always tried to look after its members, business partners and community groups with help and support from our great team who try to get ahead of the curve whenever new legislation, rules and regulations are being put in front of us.”
Despites concerns about new legislation, he said there were positive signs that 2024 could be a better year for tourism businesses. Forward bookings were healthier than the same time last year and there was feeling that people, who did not take a holiday in Mid Wales this year due to the cost of living crisis, would return in 2024.
Wales Tourism Alliance chairman Suzy Davies being interviewed by Phil Blizzard for a conference podcast.
Rali Ceredigion commercial manager, Charlie Jukes (left) with FIA European Rally Championship manager, Iain Campbell (centre) and Ceredigion County Council leader Councillor Bryan Davies, affirming the new association on Aberystwyth Promenade. Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography
The 2024 JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion has been confirmed as a round of the 2024 FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) in a move that will see this major international competition return to Wales for the first time in 28 years.
It will also be the first time the UK has hosted a round of a top-tier FIA Championship since Wales Rally GB last took place in October 2019, just one month after Rali Ceredigion was initially held.
The 2024 JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion will take place from Friday, August 30 to Sunday, September 1.
Inspired by the success and acclaim achieved following the inaugural event, Rali Ceredigion organisers have worked closely with regional stakeholders, commercial partners and local authorities to secure the resources and infrastructure necessary to support this major step forward for the event.
This summer, rally representatives met the ERC promoter to discuss detailed operating requirements and procedures. Subsequently, the 2023 event was observed by FIA officials, their report endorsing Rali Ceredigion as a worthy candidate for ERC inclusion in 2024.
Phil Pugh, JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion organising team chairman, said: “This is fantastic news, not just for us as organisers but for everyone involved with the event, in particular our local stakeholders and commercial partners.
“We would certainly not be in this position if it hadn’t been for their invaluable support.
“We are extremely proud to be accepted as a round of such a high-profile and long-standing international championship that will generate increased returns around tourism, economic benefit and global exposure for Ceredigion and the wider region.
“Each year, we have strived to innovate and drive our event forward – and becoming a round of the ERC fulfils one of our key ambitions.
“As organisers, we were inspired to do what was needed to restore the UK’s place on a major international rally calendar. In doing so, it provides UK competitors in the supporting domestic championships a chance to pitch themselves against a top-class overseas field and, of course, brings a wealth of commercial benefits and opportunities to the region.”
Councillor Bryan Davies, Ceredigion County Council leader, welcomed the news. “It will be a huge privilege to host a major international sporting event in our spectacular county next year,” he said.
“It will build on the success of this year’s event that generated over £3 million of economic benefit for the region and will showcase to a global audience what the Ceredigion region has to offer.”
Iain Campbell, FIA European Rally Championship manager, said: “After 28 years, it’s fantastic to be bringing the FIA European Rally Championship back to Wales, a country with such an outstanding motorsport pedigree and heritage.
“Having visited Rali Ceredigion in September, the enthusiasm, capability and determination of the organisers to deliver a first-class and highly professional event was clearly evident, which is great news for all our drivers, teams and other stakeholders - not just in 2024 but beyond.
“The stages will offer an exciting challenge for competitors who come from across Europe and even further afield to take part. The landscape will provide a stunning backdrop to the live TV coverage and the action will attract fans from far and wide.
“We are in no doubt that Rali Ceredigion will be a very worthy addition to the FIA European Rally Championship in its 71st year.”
Rali Ceredigion is the only rally in the UK that has achieved a two-star FIA Environmental Accreditation, thanks to its work surrounding the sustainability of the event and its carbon reduction credentials that include offsetting the emissions of all competing vehicles.
A consultation has opened (21 November) on changing the school calendar, so breaks are spread out more evenly, including a 2-week half term autumn break.
The current school calendar means that the autumn term is longer than others. Under the new proposal, a week would be taken from the start of the summer break and added to the October break, so that staff and learners get more time to rest during the long autumn term. These changes would be made from September 2025, meaning schools would get a two-week break in October 2025 and a five-week summer break in 2026.
The consultation will also explore additional changes that could be taken forward in the future, but not from 2025. These changes include the option of moving a second week from the summer break and adding it to the Whitsun break. (Please see the full Welsh Government press release on Welsh Government wants your views on the school calendar | GOV.WALES.)
The Welsh Government is engaging with the workers and employers from sectors outside of education. The primary objectives of reforming the school year are to address disadvantage, narrow educational inequalities, support learner and staff wellbeing and bring the school calendar more in line with contemporary life. It is important to recognise it is an education reform. It is also important that the wider potential impact, opportunities, and benefits of any changes are shared and understood. Whilst the structure of the school year is an educational policy, we recognise that any changes to the school year structure could impact wider sectors.
With this in mind, we would very much like to encourage you to participate in the consultation.
Additional updates regarding school year reform and links to the publications mentioned above can be found on the webpage: Reform of the school year | GOV.WALES.
Salop Leisure touring caravan and motorhome sales staff celebrate the Best Overall Dealership of the Year award from Swift Group (from left) senior sales executive George Harris, sales executives Clarke Allen and Harry Fox, associate director Paul Simpson and sales executives Dan Taylor and James Allen.
Shropshire-based caravan and motorhome dealership Salop Leisure has won the coveted top accolade in Swift Group’s annual awards.
The company, which has sales centres in Shrewsbury, Machynlleth and Stourport-on-Severn, was named the Best Overall Dealership of the Year. There are around 100 Swift dealerships across the UK.
The awards are based on a customer satisfaction survey by Swift and videoed mystery shops which are scrutinised and scored.
Marking the end of the seventh year of Swift’s Approved Dealer Programme, launched in September 2017, the annual awards recognise the accomplishments delivered by dealers. The programme is built around eight customer-focussed key performance indicators which are monitored throughout the year.
“It’s a fantastic accolade for the company and all our employees who have been rewarded for their focus on providing first class customer service,” said Mike Harris, Salop Leisure’s joint managing director. “Every individual member of staff, from sales to customer service and from reception staff to cleaners, has contributed to winning this award.
“Although it’s presented by Swift Group, the award is based on customer feedback and survey results which is very satisfying. We thank all our customers for their positive feedback whilst pledging to strive to further improve standards.”
Salop Leisure employs more than 20 staff in its service department, some of whom work at weekends when it’s more convenient for customers to have their caravans serviced or repaired.
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