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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Flood-hit Cumbrian hotel in running for national award

A hotel devastated by the Cockermouth floods is in the running for a major national award.

James Briggs photo
James Briggs

The River Derwent smashed through The Trout Hotel causing millions of pounds worth of damage in November 2009.

It cost £3.5 million and six months to restore the building, which reopened to guests in June 2010.

The Trout is a finalist in the large hotel of the year category in the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2012.

Assistant manager James Briggs said “Having taken the top award at county level in 2011, it was logical to put forward a submission for the north west and national awards.

“With 392 submissions put forward for all categories, to get this far is amazing.”

Staff from the hotel will attend an awards ceremony at Athena in Leicester on May 22.

It is up against three other hotels.

The Trout is owned by Nigel Mills and run by managing director Susan Eccles. She said: “Much of the evidence put forward in our submission focussed on our commitment towards local produce and evidence of our high levels of customer care.”

Visit England said there had been a record number of entries for the awards this year.

Cumbria attractions are finalists in all but three categories. The Beacon in Whitehaven is up for the Access for All tourism award, Muncaster Castle for large visitor attraction and the George and Dragon at Clifton, near Penrith, for the Taste of England award.

The gastro pub has built a solid reputation since it was taken over by Charles Lowther in 2008.

Head chef Paul McKinnon said: “We are so honoured to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious national award.

“It’s a testament to all the incredibly hard work the team has put in over the last few years, and to be recognised for our passion for food, produce and taste is fantastic.”

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