Northern Rail searches for Staffordshires hidden gems
14th September 2011
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Independent businesses and hidden gems across Staffordshire including top shops, cosy pubs, high class hotels and great restaurants, are set to be given a helping hand as part of a new award campaign aimed at recognising the best on Northern Rail’s network.


People from across Staffordshire are being invited to share their secrets and nominate their favourite Northern Hidden Gems.


The project is aimed at highlighting and driving tourism, customers and footfall to the best of the region’s ‘hidden gems,’ including quality restaurants, shops with a personal touch, well-loved attractions, hidden beauty spots and great journeys by foot, bike, car or rail which can be missed out or overlooked by tourists or people travelling through the area.


Ian Bevan, Managing Director at Northern Rail, said: “We all know of great shops, bars, restaurants and places to go on our own front door steps, but we want people to share these hidden gems and help them thrive.


The Northern Rail network covers a huge area and there are hundreds if not thousands of great pubs, restaurants, attractions, museums, walks, views and even journeys out in the countryside which are largely undiscovered but all within easy reach of many people.


“We want to find out about the very best of what’s out there across our network so we can shout about it and let people know. Hidden Gems not only highlights the very best, but also helps to support communities and businesses.”


All nominations will be listed on the Northern Rail website, while those dubbed best in the region will be featured in a Northern marketing campaign, they will also have the chance to be named Best in the North.


Network finalists will compete against six other regions for the chance to be named overall winners or highly commended, receiving a plaque commemorating their win and appearing on posters across the Northern network.

Categories include:


Best Attraction

Best Shop

Best Hotel / Guesthouse / B&B

Best Restaurant / Café / Takeaway

Best Journey (Bike, foot, rail or car)

Best Beauty Spot


Nominating your favourite couldn’t be easier, simply visit or email Everyone who nominates a winning hidden gem will be entered into a prize draw to win a tailor-made weekend enjoying some of the best hidden gems in the North.


John Walker, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses said: “Small, independent businesses are the engine room of the UK economy and it’s vital – particularly at present when we are all facing uncertain and tough conditions – that they are given all the help and support possible.


“The FSB is therefore delighted to be working so closely with Northern on the Hidden Gems campaign aiming to highlight all the great places to go and the small businesses, restaurants and attractions which help to make them special across Staffordshire.

“We want to encourage people to let us know about their favourite Hidden Gems so that together with Northern we can put them in the spotlight and support businesses and communities.”



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