This week Birmingham Hippodrome took home the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award at the inaugural West Midlands Tourism Awards.

Held at the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall on Wednesday, February 26, the awards ceremony recognised the region’s finest tourist organisations who helped to bring a record 131 million visitors to the West Midlands in 2018.

Following the win, Birmingham Hippodrome will now be shortlisted at Visit England’s National Awards for Excellence in June for the same category. The Hippodrome was recognised for its vast ranging work to make the venue accessible and inclusive, from a full programme of access and relaxed performances, to ensuring accessibly priced tickets for productions, working to encourage attendance from schools and communities with low social engagement, and partnering with many of the cities diverse festivals.

Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome said: “Everyone in the team works so hard to make the Hippodrome a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our visitors, so I am extremely proud to see this recognised.

“Over the past three years we have put significant energy and investment into ensuring that the Hippodrome is open all day long, offering a range of free and low cost cultural experiences for visitors. Our ambition is to be recognised as a creative and cultural hub that supports many of the region’s most exciting artists and companies, and attracts daytime visitors as well as evening theatre goers.

“Winning this award is a terrific endorsement of all our efforts to make Birmingham Hippodrome a destination that appeals to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, and to embed the principles of accessibility and inclusion across everything we do.”

The West Midlands Growth Company – which aims to attract visitors and events to the region – organised the Tourism Awards in collaboration with VisitEngland and delivery partners Reach Events.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company said: “The West Midlands Tourism Awards provided a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the very best of our region’s visitor economy offer, which is enjoying a real renaissance.

“Huge congratulations to all of our nominees and the gold and silver winners who will now go on to represent the West Midlands at VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence. I’m sure many of them will make their mark on this national stage.”