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New Year, New Award

by Michael Ford last modified 02 Jul, 2015 03:22 PM

The DEC in Wilton has just won an award courtesy of the Salisbury Civic Society. Manager Annette Middleton-Burke takes up the story:

New Year, New Award

L-R: Ben Hobley (Hammonds), Mike Lyons, Annette Middleton-Burke, John Carley, Duygu Riley, Sandi Hammer

I have been in post since September 2013, joining the friendly and welcoming Diocesan Board of Education team. My background includes starting up and managing the Professional Development Centre at Melksham for Wiltshire Council, providing training facilities for Wiltshire teaching staff and conference facilities for hire. However, there the similarity ends.

I cannot believe my luck to have moved from an industrial building on a trading estate (albeit very smart inside!) to a bespoke, award-winning, ecological structure with the most incredible views. The DEC is a fabulous, light-filled, spacious building with two training rooms and an open plan dining area. Full height windows on two sides capture the outstanding vista beyond.

It has taken four months to build on the existing facilities’ provision, with the aim of encouraging high standards of hospitality and provision comparable to any high end hotel. Better, in fact. Now, with a new team of hospitality assistants and experienced front of house staff, I am pleased to say that our evaluations are mostly coming in with comments of “Excellent” and an occasional “Good.” Other comments include, “Best facilities we have ever used”, “Staff couldn’t be more helpful”, and “What an amazing venue – thankyou”.

A number of us attended the Salisbury Civic Society ceremony at the Guildhall on the evening of Thursday 9th January. I joined colleagues Sandi Hammer, Sam Ter Haar (our ‘official’ photographer for the evening), John Carley, Duygu Riley, and representatives from Hammonds, the construction company. Mike Lyons, our architect, had been nominated for the New Buildings Awards Scheme 2013 and I am delighted to say that we won. We all went up to the stage to accept certificates, and our copy will take pride of place on the wall in the reception area. A fantastic start to the New Year!

Click here for the DEC

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