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And the winner is…
Stanley House

Mellor-based Stanley House Hotel and Spa is celebrating double success after bringing home two prestigious awards.

The hotel was named ‘Best Wedding Venue – Hotel and Spa’ at the Great Northern Wedding Awards, while senior receptionist Rhianna Feeney was bestowed the ‘individual excellence’ accolade at the Ribble Valley Stars in Tourism Awards.

To secure the highly-coveted ‘Best Wedding Venue – Hotel and Spa' title, Stanley House’s 2018, 2019 and 2020 bride and grooms voted for the venue in their thousands, while the reader-nominated process also saw the Mellor venue named as a finalist in the ‘Best Wedding Venue – Country House’ category.

The awards, which showcase the very best within the wedding industry in the North, were also hosted at Stanley House, with the special honour being handed over at the glittering awards ceremony on April 3.

The industry recognition crowns off a memorable twelve months for Stanley House’s wedding offering, with the awards a culmination of a five-figure renovation project that transformed its function suites into chic and sumptuous venues for weddings, while another five-figure project renovated Stanley House’s Grade II listed manor house bridal suites.

Philip Wharton, general manager at Stanley House Hotel and Spa, said: “We’ve had another successful year in terms of wedding bookings from bride and grooms-to-be, so it’s fantastic to see our family’s passion and commitment to continually investing in our wedding offering recognised by the industry too.

“The win reaffirms that Stanley House truly is a wedding destination of choice in the North.”

Meanwhile, Rhianna Feeney’s win at the Ribble Valley Stars in Tourism Awards comes shortly after she was promoted to senior receptionist in January.

It is the third year running that Stanley House has stormed to success at the event, after the hotel’s reservations team won ‘team of the year’ at last year’s Ribble Valley Stars in Tourism Awards, as well as scooping three accolades at the 2017 event.

Philip added: “Stanley House prides itself on offering an outstanding service and an experience like no other. Rhianna has a natural ability to delight guests and since joining our team in 2016, has consistently gone above and beyond, so we’re thrilled her hard work and determination has been recognised in this way.”

Festival of Making

The National Festival of Making is a unique celebration of UK manufacturing, whether this is being done on the factory floor or the kitchen table.

Presenting a programme of work that combines the art, manufacturing and making communities, the event will commission a number of international and national artists to create world-class works, for these to be enjoyed at a participatory family festival in the centre of Blackburn.

The festival returns once again to East Lancashire in June 2019, with an even more ambitious programme of making and digital technologies, hands-on maker workshops, innovative art installations and a full festival programme of activity.

Blackburn – and Pennine Lancashire – are rich in heritage and thrive with industrious makers and manufacturers and we’re proud that the town and its people have welcomed the festival back to showcase their skills and spirit and to welcome the nation’s best and most innovative makers and shakers.

A uniquely innovative fixture on the UK festivals calendar, 40,000 people attended the 2018 edition to take part in an array of making activities, encounter outdoor performances and discover innovations in science, technology and art alongside the finest in food, drink and handmade design.

Festival organisers, including co-founder, Wayne Hemingway MBE, call on artists and British manufacturers to get involved in an even more ambitious event this summer.

Britain’s revolution in hands-on creativity, contemporary manufacturing and tech-led making shows no sign of slowing and the festival that shouts loudest about the brilliance of the nation’s makers, The National Festival of Making, will return to Blackburn, Lancashire on Sat 15 – Sun 16 June 2019. Entering its third year, the free-to-attend festival moves to a summer date for the first time.

Shortlisted in the prestigious UK Festival Awards for Best Family Festival and Best Non- Music Festival, recognising the festival’s inclusive atmosphere of discovery and celebration, as well as clinching Visit Lancashire’s Tourism Awards, Large Event of the Year accolade, the festival is set to grow this year to meet demand.

The organisers are currently putting together a programme of music, markets, street food, art, performance, tours, talks and workshops and would love to hear from you if you’d like to be involved. Visit for more information or to register your interest in getting involved.

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To find out more about the best member package for your business, contact Jen Hill on 01254 356400 or email