IT’S the icing on a phenomenal three years.
That was the message from the jubilant visitor operations manager of the Mary Rose Museum after he picked up a top award for the trust that runs the Portsmouth site.
The museum – which just weeks ago celebrated its millionth visitor – scooped the Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure award at the Johnston Press South Business Awards on Friday.
The awards, run by The News and its sister papers across Sussex and Hampshire, were a chance to celebrate the top businesses in the region.
James Rodliff, who collected the accolade during a gala dinner at Brighton’s Grand Hotel, said: ‘We were just overwhelmed. We always hoped but we never expected to be successful.
‘It was a wonderful evening. There was a lot of excitement.
‘This was just the icing on the cake of a phenomenally successful summer.’
The title was the latest accolade to be won by the trust this year.
Other winners from The News’ area included Just Develop It, based in Segensworth, which was named winner of the Overall Business award, as well as the Southsea bridal boutique Creatiques, which clinched the Best Retailer title.
Fareham-based coach and minibus hire firm Lucketts Travel took top honours in the Best Large Business category.
‘Awards like this give everyone a reason to celebrate,’ added Mr Rodliff.
‘From a business perspective, it’s been a tough five years.
‘So it’s wonderful The News and Johnston Press recognise the talent that local businesses have.’
The Mary Rose Museum is now gearing up for its latest revamp, which will see a major overhaul of the facility.
The redesign, expected to begin later this year and finish at sometime in summer 2016, will give visitors greater views of the treasured Tudor ship.
Despite winning a top title in the regional awards, Mr Rodliff said the museum ‘wouldn’t rest on its laurels’ for the rest of the year.