Awards spotlight beckons for Lakes park family

Family matters: Michael Holgate's 60-year-old business will soon take centre stage in the Cumbria awards
Family matters: Michael Holgate’s 60-year-old business will soon take centre stage in the Cumbria awards

Fingers are being kept firmly crossed at Cumbria’s Silverdale Holiday Park this month after it was announced that the business has been short-listed for a prestigious business award.

The long-established park is a finalist in the Cumbria Family Business Awards which will highlight Lakeland’s most outstanding family-run companies.

Now Silverdale’s owners and staff must wait until 10 March tourism category of the competition.

The verdict of the judges will be delivered by Cumbrian Hairy Biker Dave Myers at a glittering awards ceremony to be staged at Kendal’s Castle Green Hotel.

Among those attending on the night will be Silverdale’s owner Michael Holgate who is the third generation of his family to be captaining the 60-year-old business.

Michael’s grandfather, Billy, first started welcoming campers at 100-acre Silverdale in 1956, and the park quickly grew in popularity under his, and then his son Frank’s, stewardship.

After Frank passed away in 2015, his son Michael continued developing the business which, two years ago, won the Park of the Year award from Cumbria Tourism.

Holidaymakers have been visiting Silverdale for six decades
Holidaymakers have been visiting Silverdale for six decades

The Holgates group now comprises six parks in Cumbria and North Lancashire, and provides employment and careers training for around 135 people.

Judges in the Cumbria Family Business Awards include senior figures from some of the region’s largest enterprises as well as the Cumbria Community Foundation.

As a finalist, Holgates will also be fast-tracked into the finals of the Family Business United awards in June which could see them crowned as one of Britain’s foremost family firms.

Michael Holgate said it was a great honour to be short-listed in the Cumbria awards, and that its success was very much the result of a team effort:

“The judging criteria for our category included a close examination of all aspects of our business, and what our parks provide tors,” said Michael.

“However, a great emphasis was also put on the quality of the hospitality we offer, and delivering this is largely in the hands of our hardworking park teams.

“As a family business, we have always been keen to make guests feel welcome and at home, and our staff do a great job in reflecting our values.

“It’s their friendliness and commitment to our success from the outset,” added Michael.