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November 21, 2008

Woodland Grange tops MIA’s AIM ratings

Woodland Grange Training and Conference Centre has achieved the MIA’s AIM (Accredited in Meetings) Gold standard with the highest score to date of any member venue.

The venue, which is situated in Leamington Spa in the UK, was presented with the coveted meetings industry standard earlier this month after sailing through the stringent assessment procedure.

The MIA’s AIM scheme is endorsed by VisitBritain, the national tourism body which is encouraging all meetings venues in England to become AIM accredited when the standard becomes available to non-MIA members in January 2009.


MIA chief executive Jane Evans presents the
AIM Gold certificate to Woodland Grange's director of
conferencing and Hospitality, David Vaughton


David Vaughton, Woodland Grange’s Director of Conferencing and Hospitality, said: “The standard is the best possible confirmation that our facilities and service levels are both robust and lasting. The gold award focuses on providing tangible evidence - rather than ‘just saying it’- and it is pleasing to know that, in achieving that level, we are pushing boundaries in terms of excellence in service.

“There is immense pride right across team at having achieved AIM Gold. It has already acted as a great motivator and morale booster, particularly during a time of year when we are so busy. The fact that we have achieved the highest scoring is just the icing on the cake!”

Woodland Grange is located in the Warwickshire countryside, on the banks of the River Avon near Leamington Spa. A £5 million expansion programme, completed in 2006, increased capacity to 114 bedrooms, 26 meeting and conference rooms, a leisure suite with spa and gym, an internet café and games room and a 200 seat restaurant. Woodland Grange has been a venue member of the MIA since April 2002.

MIA chief executive Jane Evans said: “My sincere congratulations to the team at Woodland Grange. During tough trading conditions every marketing advantage helps and with this award Woodland Grange has assured themselves a deserved place at the very top of every procurement list.

“It is more important than ever that venues and suppliers take advantage of the credibility the MIA’s AIM scheme offers in making their businesses a cut above the rest.”

To become a member of the association it is compulsory that all venues and suppliers meet the requirements of AIM Entry level. Venues are then encouraged to AIM Higher in a bid to become AIM Silver or Gold accredited. In order to AIM Higher venues have to complete a self-assessment form, which is made up of ten sections with five questions in each; they also have to produce a portfolio of evidence in support of their application.

An external assessment is then carried out at the venue by an independent examiner who will determine whether AIM Silver or AIM Gold should be awarded. It is a stringent process ensuring the scheme offers an assurance to buyers that venues will deliver their promise of exceptional standards. Now endorsed by VisitBritain the scheme is set to become a universally recognised indicator of quality for meetings space and services.


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