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Two Top Awards for Isle of Wight Steam Railway

    The positioning of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway as one of the South?s leading visitor attractions has again been recognised with two top industry awards. The first accolade came as the Havenstreet-based steam railway beat-off stiff competition from other Island tourism businesses to be crowned the Island?s top visitor attraction by winning the Tourism and Leisure Business Award in the IW Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism?s annual ?Business Awards for Excellence?. This was followed just five days later with a major award in the prestigious Tourism South East Beautiful South Awards, establishing the IW Steam Railway as one of the very best visitor attractions in the South East. In the Best Large Visitor Attraction category the Steam Railway was positioned alongside Bleinham Palace to scoop a Silver Award, being just pipped at the post for the Gold Award by a national institution - Beaulieu National Motor Museum ? but beating off competition from other major attractions including Portsmouth?s Spinnaker Tower! As Silver Award winners, the Steam Railway now goes forward to the Visit England national awards. The Tourism and Leisure Business Award was presented at the IW ?Business Awards for Excellence? awards evening compered by BBC South Today?s Sally Taylor at Cowes Yacht Haven and attended by over 300 people from the Island?s thriving business community. The Beautiful South Awards Best Large Visitor Attraction Silver Award was presented at a packed awards evening at Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey. Over the years the IW Steam Railway has won a clutch of prestigious awards, twice winning the UK-wide Independent Railway of the Year Award (in 1997 and 2000),? and in 2010?was named the UK's Best Heritage Project in The National Lottery Awards.