We are extremely happy to have been named a winner of VisitEngland Visitor Attraction Accolades under the category of ‘Best Told Story’. This comes after a recent VisitEngland quality assessment where we received an ‘exceptional score’ of 95%.
The accolades, awarded to 91 attractions across England, recognise all aspects of the visitor experience and are awarded in five categories.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “These accolades are a testament to the outstanding experiences and customer service that attractions in England give visitors. They also recognise different aspects of the visitor experience with attractions who really go the extra mile, whether it’s offering exceptional food and drink or magical storytelling. The attractions honoured today go out of their way to make visits memorable, creating reasons for people to travel to new locations, also boosting local economies across England.”
After an extensive refurbishment, Skipton Town Hall is approaching its second year since opening to the public again. Skipton Town Hall invited Visit England to come and assess and rate our visitor experience since the new refurbishment. Over the last two years the team has worked hard to cultivate a visitor experience in all aspects, our final score reflects this.
“The VisitEngland Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme is a quality-based assessment, and the accreditation reflects the visitor experience and the quality of the product and services offered by the attraction and its staff.” The assessment looked at seven different aspects, Pre-Arrival, Arrival, Attraction, Cleanliness, Toilets, Retail and Staff.
With a specialised team, the website is designed to suit every person’s need, covering all aspects of services available at the Town Hall, especially highlighting the busy programme of events, as well as extensive information on the Museum and Gallery, Visitor Information, Education and Shop.
‘The mobile friendly website benefits from a logical layout, superb imagery and comprehensive, up-to-date information: of particular note were the What’s On guide, simple booking process, online shop and comprehensive section on accessibility.’
The assessor noted that the renovations had a great impact when arriving to the Town Hall, particularly taking in the layout of the building, and added extras of the beautiful flowers blooming outside and lovely new seats for resting and enjoying the high street.
‘Smart seating, colourful planting and prominent A frames enhanced the handsome, well-maintained building.’
Skipton Town Hall as an attraction was marked very highly during the assessment with everything from the welcome to the Museum and Gallery. The transformation was marked as transformative solidifying that the renovations have done their job of making it in to a new and better space for the local community and tourists. “Positive comments in the visitor book which were a delight to read”.
‘Following the extensive redevelopment, Skipton Town Hall and Craven Museum and Gallery has been completely transformed with examples of best practise observed throughout the building.’
‘Of note: spacious, bright, and welcoming foyer. Use of timelines, use of QR technology. Carefully displays and interpretations’
The museum especially was noted excellent for all visitors, with ‘expertly presented Sidor Avoda Exhibition, the use of QR technology giving access to additional layers of interpretations for Shakespeare’s First Folio, Audio memories of locals, and careful display and interpretation of Richard Ryley’s diary including a painstaking transcript.’.
The assessment reflected Craven Museum and Gallery are appropriate for all ages, with lots of information being reflected in activities for children. ‘Hands of activities e.g. The dressing up clothes, complete with caving attire and the indestructible shop window.’
Full of unique and different items are to be found at Craven Museum with all of them been expertly looked after for everyone to enjoy “The retention of unique items such as the ‘cycling Shakespeare’”.
A hardworking team is behind Skipton Town Hall, making sure all visitors have the best experience from start to finish, which was again reflected in the assessment.
‘Interactions with friendly, confident, and capable staff were a further highlight of the visit. All staff were smartly presented and, although no uniform was evident, all were identifiable with lanyards.’
As we all know a warm welcome to any venue or space is always welcomed by visitors in adding to the experience in a positive way.
“At the Welcome Desk, a smart and confident female member of staff provided a faultless, fully informed welcome and encouraged the visitor to enjoy her visit.”
Every detail was inspected down to the cleanliness of the attraction for visitors, in which Skipton Town Hall scored 100%!
‘All areas of the attraction were pristine and litter-free – a real credit to the tireless and diligent work of cleaning staff.’
One of the aims of the renovation was to make the building accessible to all, the Town Hall achieved this with the assessor noting that the provision was spot on for people with access needs.
‘With changing places facility and separate male, female and accessible facilities, the provision of toilets at Skipton Town Hall was excellent.’
Skipton Town Hall has cultivated a range of stockists for the small shop area, which focusses on local makers and sustainable items.
‘Although modest in size, the retail area was colourful, effectively lit, well presented and fully stocked with a wide range of high-quality cards and gifts which aligned to visitor demographics.’
‘Combining a concert hall, event space, museum, gallery, visitor information point and gift shop, Skipton Town Hall has been transformed to meet the needs of modern-day visitors. The carefully curated displays and interpretation in the museum are especially noteworthy, whilst superb standards of décor, a thriving events programme and friendly staff complete the visitor experience; Skipton Town Hall is a superb asset for the Craven district.’
Ros Walker, VisitEngland Quality Assurance Assessor