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Award Winning Day Out in Sussex

Drusillas Park has scooped one of the top accolades at the 2012 Sussex Business Matters Awards. 

The annual awards celebrate outstanding businesses throughout the county. A total of 19 categories were up for grabs, ranging from Start Up Business through to Lifetime Achiever. 

At a gala ceremony held on the 20th July at Copthorne Effingham Hotel, Drusillas Park was named Overall Business of the Year; one of the most coveted awards of the night. This prestigious accolade is bestowed on the organisation that most impressed the judges for doing the best by their clients, staff and the community.

The zoo was also Highly Commended in the Hospitality Tourism and Leisure Category. Organisations in this grouping were judged on their ability to demonstrate exceptional industry success, innovation, strong growth and market leadership. 

Managing Directors, Laurence and Christine Smith attended the event, collecting the awards from Meridian Tonight presenter and the host of the evening, Fred Dinenage. 

Laurence commented: “In these tough economic times, which have been hindered by the unusually wet weather, it is great to bring this award home for our team. We are delighted that our hard work and dedication has been recognised by the judges and will continue to ensure that Drusillas Park remains an exceptional visitor attraction.” 


Laurence and Christine Smith acquired the award winning zoo in 1997 after selling a nationwide recruitment business. The husband and wife team have invested heavily in Drusillas over the last fifteen years, securing a deal with HIT Entertainment to bring Thomas the Tank Engine to the Park and consistently introducing new animals and attractions.  Drusillas is now a true family run business with eldest daughter Cassandra working at the zoo since 2005, alongside her sister Caroline who joined the company in 2010. 

This award is the latest in a long line of accolades achieved by the zoo. In 2010/11 Drusillas won Tourism South East’s highly acclaimed Visitor Attraction of the Year award as well as receiving accolades for Business of the Year and Best Customer Service at the Sussex Business Awards in 2009/10.



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