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Historic Hall Shortlisted for Two National Awards

Summer season is in full swing at historic Leighton Hall, near Carnforth, but staff would be forgiven taking five minutes’ break from welcoming visitors to the hall, gardens and special events to take in some exciting news.

For the first time, the hall has been chosen as a finalist in the Enterprise Vision Awards, the UK’s largest business awards dedicated solely to women, recognising creating positive impact and making a difference in local communities alongside business entrepreneurship.

The hard work isn’t over yet: before the glittering awards ceremony, to be held at Blackpool Winter Gardens on 27th September, Leighton’s estate manager Lucy Arthurs will face a further grilling from the judging panel. But with the “EVAs” unique focus on showcasing and fostering the diverse talents of women in business, her nomination opens up a wide support network, including coaching masterclasses and networking events with fellow finalists.

Before the Leighton team had time to catch their breath, news came of a second finals nomination, from Historic Houses, which represents thousands of independent and family-owned historic houses, castles and gardens across the UK. Leighton has reached the final of the Frances Garnham Award, one of just five categories in these prestigious awards, which recognises innovative approaches to education and community engagement.

“It’s been quite a week!” agreed Lucy, whose famous Gillow family have lived in the Hall for generations. “To be nominated in the EVAs is recognition of not just myself, but my mother’s inspiring example, the many incredible women on the Leighton team, how far we’ve moved from “traditional” expectations, and the empowerment we aim to pass on to the next generations coming through.

“Historic Houses is an incredible organisation, enabling unique examples of British history to remain open, accessible, and inspirational. We won their Sustainability Award last year, so to receive further recognition for another of our passions, education, is further endorsement of our hard work and investment, including innovative school visits, forest school, community and charity partnerships, and building our new education hub to the highest environmental standards.”

With the Historic Houses awards evening following on in November, and a busy schedule of summer public open days, events, weddings, school visits, and tree planting and sustainability initiatives, it doesn’t sound like there will be much time for awards nerves. As Lucy says: “Recognition is a lovely bit of icing on the cake, but, day to day, making sure the icing on the cakes in our tearoom is up to standard definitely comes first!”

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