Bristol’s iconic Arnos Vale Cemetery has picked up another award as it is named as the first working cemetery in the country to win the Visit England Quality Marque, awarded to attractions in the UK that meet the national standards for visitor experience.
Over the last few years, Arnos Vale has developed a range of visitor trails and exhibitions which explore both the history of Bristol and the development of cemeteries locally and nationally, alongside being a working cemetery, remembering over 300,000 people from nationalities around the world.
The Visit England Attraction Quality Inspection, conducted by way of professional assessment focuses on a number of key criteria including signage, literature, website and experience and is seen as the benchmark for visitor attractions in England. The Arnos Vale inspection report praised the respectful historical interpretation, quality of catering and cleanliness of the site as well as the staff and volunteers that work tirelessly to welcome visitors.
Arnos Vale Chief Executive, Mike Coe, said “It is an amazing achievement for a working public cemetery to reach the standard of visitor experience required to be awarded the Visit England Quality Marque and we are proud to be the first in England to do so. The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to keep the site open for the community and this Marque is a great reward for their efforts.”
Arnos Vale, which receives no council funding, has also recently taken large strides forwards to secure financial sustainability securing revenue from a range of Activities including weddings, meetings and events alongside income from being a much loved working cemetery.
The other UK Cemetery to reach the Marque is The Cambridge American Cemetery, run by the American Battle Monuments Commission and home to the remains of 3,812 American servicemen and women.