Linlithgow Union Canal Society have finished off a triumphant year by taking the Best Tourism Business award at a prestigious ceremony last Friday.
The society, fondly known as LUCS, picked up their accolade at the Chamber Business Excellence Awards for demonstrating “a commitment and enthusiasm to attracting visitors to West Lothian, offering an experience people want to return to.”
Since forming in 1980 to prevent further decay of the Union Canal, LUCS now attracts over 13,000 passengers to its boats each year. Visitors can also enjoy the tearoom at the Canal Museum and LUCS annual events include the canal fun day, folk festival and Santa’s grotto.
Mike Smith at LUCS said he was “absolutely thrilled” adding: “We are a voluntary organisation and this award recognises that we have attracted more people from other areas of West Lothian than anywhere else, and have raised the profile of the town, which is wonderful.
“That’s what is behind it - raising Linlithgow’s profile is hugely valuable, and all local organisations should be working together in the town for this.”
He also paid tribute to late LUCS stalwart Colin Galloway who as the canal’s woodworker among other things, would have appreciated the wooden carved trophy.
Future plans for LUCS include refurbishment of the 40-seater boat St Magdalene, allowing bookings for special occasions.
A Chamber Awards spokesman said: “The Society’s main objective is to see people leave with a smile and the desire to return – from the feedback received there is no doubt they have succeeded.”
Linlithgow also featured in the runner up category, won by Kingsfield Leisure, who said they were “very pleased”. The charity draw and auction on the night also raised almost £2500 for Donaldson’s School.