Posted: 18.02.21 at 10:08 by Tim Lethaby
The Bishop’s Palace in Wells has scored 93 per cent in a recent assessment by VisitEngland as part of the national Visitor Attractions Quality Scheme.
The results of the rating were released following a secret visit in December by the assessor.
VisitEngland offers quality accreditation to visitor attractions participating in the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme, including museums, art galleries, safari parks, gardens, historic houses, theme parks and more.
Attractions are independently visited by a team of experienced quality assessors and offered support and guidance to improve the quality of their visitor experience.
With strict criteria for each of the quality schemes, assessors thoroughly check the services and facilities offered.
Each year, every aspect of the business is thoroughly inspected from the efficiency of the booking process to the level of service provided.
Visitor attractions can gain a VisitEngland Accolade for exceptional facilities. Accolades include Quality Food and Drink, Hidden Gem, Best Told Story, Welcome and Gold.
The result demonstrates how successful the palace team has been improving and refining the visitor experience to match the needs of the palace's audiences and use its resources to best advantage in a very different operating environment during 2020.
The achievement of the restaurant is especially notable as its consistently high scores mean the palace is eligible for nomination for a VisitEngland Quality Food and Drink Accolade.
Nominations will be reviewed this year prior to the award of the accolades. The restaurant team has worked hard over a number of years to offer a consistent service and have dealt with a huge amount of changes in a very short time.
The VisitEngland assessor said: “In summary, the Bishop's Palace has made best use of the opportunities of this year by seeking to understand its audience and its role for visitors over and above making money.
"It has redeployed resources and staff imaginatively and discovered new ways of doing things.”
Rosie Martin, chief executive of the Palace Trust, said: “It is an absolute delight for us to receive this rating as it reflects all the extremely hard work that the whole team has carried out in exceptionally challenging circumstances.
"I already knew that we had achieved something wonderful this year, and the messages we have received from members of the public had backed this up, but the report puts in writing how well we have done, and it’s fabulous to be able to pass this on to our hard-working staff and volunteer team. We will continue to serve our community and look for the opportunities for joy throughout 2021."