Fylde coast travel team do the double

The WST School Travel team claiming their award
The WST School Travel team claiming their award

A Blackpool specialist travel company has picked up a top national award.

Bristol Avenue-based, WST School Travel, has been named the UK’s Best School Tour Operator in The School Travel Awards for the second year running, at a glittering ceremony held at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London.

It is the UK’s biggest event for school travel and learning outside the classroom, and was hosted by BBC TV news anchor and Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce.

WST started with a team of four in 2010 and following rapid expansion now employs 41 staff.

It is part of the Next Generation Travel group based in Bispham, which at the start of the year bought Essex-based Anglia Tours,the largest provider officially-guided history tours for UK schools.

The group also includes FHT Travel and handles educational trips for 50,000 every year.

WST’s the team has more than 300 years’ combined industry experience. The School Travel Awards, organised by School Travel Organiser magazine, recognise how important it is to reward those in the education sector, especially those who go the extra mile to provide exciting and educational trips for primary and secondary schools.

The award is voted for by teachers across the UK and highlights organisations that support learning outside the classroom.

Sian Belfield, WST Travel customer relations director said: “We’re delighted to win this award for the second consecutive year.

“It’s been a difficult year for the industry in general, demanding exceptional flexibility and customer reassurance in the wake of the UK terror attacks.

"Our strong relationship with our customers has given them confidence to be able to continue offering amazing learning experiences outside of the classroom. We’re so proud to have been voted the best by teachers and owe a big thank you to our customers.”

Editor of School Travel Organiser magazine, Keeley Rodgers said: “I’d like to thank everyone who took part, including those who voted or nominated and partners.”