BURNLEY'S Holiday Inn Express has fought off stiff competition to be crowned this year's 'Developing People' champion.

The award is given annually to the best 'Holiday Inn' team in Europe. Burnley's hotel was recognised this year for its 'outstanding' committment to the career development of its workforce.


The celebrations took a distinctly 1940s theme as the award-winning hotel team were joined by stars from Songs for Victory, a new musical which premiered at The Muni in Colne on Sunday.

The 102 bedroomed hotel has beaten off competition from over 600 hotels across Europe, including the Intercontinental hotels in London’s Park Lane and Budapest.

Holiday Inn Express regional general manager Kerian (CORRECT SPELLING) Barnes, took her team to see the show at Colne's Muni theatre and then laid on an after show supper for the cast who were all staying at the hotel for the night.

Kerian said: "We are absolutely thrilled to receive the Developing People award and bring the honours back to our team here in Burnley. It is so encouraging for them to know how their hard work and commitment has paid off."

"We decided to give our victory in Europe a real topical flavour and as we had the cat of the show staying with us. They were delighted to take pat in our celebrations. To be honest we loved the dressing up in vintage clothes, it was good fun and a great way to mark the award.”

She added: "The hotel has had a very successful year and this could not have been achieved without the team's passion for embracing training and development, or without the links with the community projects which enable them to practice their new skills. To be recognised in this way by the European hotel industry is amazing.”