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Wigan's Heritage Services - A Chartered Success
Tuesday 28th November, 2006

Wigan's Heritage Services - A Chartered Success
Heritage Services team with their Charter Mark certificate. (Left to right): Phil Butler, Carole Tyldesley, Dianne Teskey, Christine Watts and Elizabeth Fairclough.

Their lifeblood may be history, but when it comes to customer service, Wigan Borough's gatekeepers of local heritage are definitely looking to the future.

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust's Heritage Services, which includes the History Shop, Wigan Pier and Leigh Archives, has been awarded the Government's Charter Mark for public sector organisations.

Having Charter Mark status recognises the values of customer focus, high quality service and an organisation's commitment to continuous improvement. To achieve the standard, Heritage Services had to demonstrate that it performed well on a day-to-day basis, set very high standards and actively engaged with customers, partners and staff at all times.

Ian Bancroft, Executive Director for Libraries, Heritage and Information, said, "We are very pleased to have achieved the very high standards set by Charter Mark. The Charter Mark assessor commented on our substantial progress in making heritage services more customer-focussed over the past year. All of the staff should be commended for the hard work they have put in to achieve this recognition for the service."

In a double boost for heritage, Wigan Pier has, for the fourth year running, achieved Visit Britain's increasingly prestigious Quality Assured Visitor Attraction Accreditation (VAQAS).

This tourism industry accreditation involved a mystery visit by an independent assessor looking at the quality of the visitor experience from pre-arrival onwards and evaluates all aspects of the attraction, including interpretation. This year's assessor commented that, "The awesome mill engine in steam is one of the special experiences of the region. "

Carole Tyldesley, Wigan Pier and Heritage Services Manager, said, "Providing a service of the highest standards leads to repeat visits from satisfied users and helps to generate new audiences. Heritage Services is going through a transitional period at the moment were we are looking in detail at new ways to maintain local people's awareness and appreciation of the borough's rich heritage. There are challenging, yet exciting times ahead; these awards are testament to the hard work of all the heritage team and help give us focus for the future."

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust's Heritage Services incorporates Wigan Pier, the History Shop and Leigh Archives. They also produce the popular heritage newsletter 'Past Forward' and have strong ties with Astley Colliery. For further information visit www.wlct.org/heritage, or call in to one of the heritage sites.

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