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Colchester Castle receives national accreditation for 15th year running

Date issued: 8 March 2018

It has stood since the 11th century, survived siege and ruin... and now Colchester Castle has once again showed that it can stand the test of time as one of the country's top attractions.

National tourism body VisitEngland has again awarded the Norman fortress with Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme (VAQAS) status. First presented to the Castle in 2003, it is awarded to venues which show excellence in the experiences, service and stories they offer to visitors.

This year, Colchester Castle has again achieved the accreditation following a visit from an independent professional assessor in November, who gave it an excellent score of 88%. The assessor was particularly impressed with the castle's stunning setting, cleanliness and the Siege of Colchester and Gaol experiences, which use audiovisual technology to bring history to life for visitors.

Only 86 attractions across the country were given the accreditation.

The Castle has also been awarded the prestigious VisitEngland 'Welcome' Accolade after staff scored 98% for their customer service. This award recognises the very best in customer service and is given to attractions which go the extra mile to provide an exceptionally warm welcome to visitors.

Assessor Catherine Harrison reported to VisitEngland that: "Colchester Castle continues to provide a very rewarding museum experience. Set in attractive parkland with Roman ruins on full view on arrival, first impressions are very good indeed and an informed welcome, delivered by uniformed staff members, sets the visitor up well."

Cllr Tim Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture, said: "For the past 15 years, Colchester Castle has held VAQAS accreditation for the high-quality, value-for-money experience that its visitors enjoy.

"I am delighted that it has been recognised again this year, with the additional honour of a VisitEngland Welcome Accolade for the excellent customer-care displayed by our staff."

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