February 17, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea wins title of 'UK's most coach friendly destination'

Burnham-On-Sea has won the title of the UK's 'Coach Friendly Destination of the Year' at last night's National Coach Tourism Awards.

Burnham lifted the title after being shortlisted for a fourth consecutive year for the top award.

Burnham's Project Coach has beaten Ashton-under-Lyne, Beverley, Bournemouth, Derry, Devizes, Liverpool and Perth City to claim the national award.

Project Coach organisers Ian Jefferies and Les Barber, pictured, received the award on Wednesday evening (16th March) at a ceremony at the NEC in Birmingham.

"Compared to some of the big budgets and much bigger towns, this recognition is fantastic for the work we carry out in encouraging more coaches into Burnham-on-Sea," said Ian Jefferies from Burnham's Project Coach initiative.

"With the fear of the impact that B&M will have on High Street shops, it is our intention to work to encourage the masses that come to Burnham on a coach to use our wonderful independent shops."

"This recognition will once again help in our aim of gaining more coaches into our town and shows the good work carried out by the team, councils and businesses."

Burnham town councillor Louise Parkin, who has been a strong supporter of the coach tourism initiative, told "Ian and Les have worked so hard over the last few years to encourage coaches into our town to boost trade and help the town's economy."

"From an annual number of 172 coaches a year, they increased this to 1,112 coaches per year and hope to do even better still. Although originally funded by the Town Council this phenomenal duo have future plans with funding coming only from those businesses that benefit and taking the project throughout Somerset and Sedgemoor."

She added: "This award is recognition of the hard work put in by both but also for their team of volunteer 'meeters and greeters' and also the businesses who were persuaded to join up with Project Coach."

"I cannot praise this team enough as the contribution they have made to the vitality of the area is staggering, for which I am deeply grateful. Well done guys you deserve all the plaudits and more."

Ian and Les also made it into the final seven for the category of 'Coach Tourism Professionals of the Year' at last night's awards.


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