Middlesbrough’s Newham Grange Farm has been honoured at an awards ceremony celebrating the quality and diversity of North East tourism.
The recently revamped attraction in Coulby Newham received the silver award for Small Visitor Attraction of the Year at the North East Tourism Awards.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak the 2020 awards have been held virtually and during the online event, judges for each category outlined the strengths of the winning applications.
Newham Grange Farm has seen a huge increase in visitor numbers since re-development works began in 2018.
Cllr Mieka Smiles, executive member for Culture and Communities, said: “While we are living in extremely troubling times it does help to try and find positives and we should all look forward to the day when we can go back to our brilliant local attractions.
“Newham Grange Farm is a fantastic facility enjoyed by people in Middlesbrough and from across the North East so it is great to see it honoured in this way.
“I’d like to congratulate all the staff – and animals! – who do so much to make it the great, award-winning attraction that it has become.”
The farm’s recent improvements include a new welcome centre and shop, new café, new soft play, as well as new toilets – one of which is a Changing Places toilet.
Other improvements include the animal discovery barn, which is now staffed and allows farm-goers to hold baby chicklets and pet or get closer to other animals.
Outdoors, new play equipment has been installed in the toddler play area and a junior play space has been created for older visitors with a Viking rope swing, trim trail climbing frame and further swings.
Other new attractions include new go karts with track, small tractors, an improved mini golf course, a sand pit and ‘talking tubes’ installed into the existing maze.
Den building equipment has also been introduced as well as new trails to walk around the site.
The farm has also seen the introduction of farm mascots Daisy and Dan who have proved hugely popular with young visitors.
Sarah Green, Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, who organise the awards, said: “A huge congratulations to this year’s winners and all those who continue to contribute so much to the North East tourism sector. Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on the sector but these awards demonstrate the quality of the North East tourism offer and give us confidence that once the current situation eases the region will be in a strong place to benefit from a predicted upturn in domestic and day tourism.
“Along with our colleagues in tourism organisations across the North East, we will continue to invest in marketing, with a strong digital and media presence, to ensure that tourists are aware of our fantastic region and have us front of mind when planning for future visits.