Buxton travel agency branch boss lands coveted award

Kelly Middleton with her colleagues Tina Railton and Billie Rowan
Kelly Middleton with her colleagues Tina Railton and Billie Rowan

The boss of a Buxton travel agent has been named a regional winner, beating competition from 24 other branches.

Kelly Middleton, who runs the TUI branch in Spring Gardens, was crowned manager of the year for the North West.

Her victory was announced at a managers’ conference in Crete.

The 37-year-old said she could not believe she had won, adding: “I was shortlisted in the final six, but I never in a million years thought I’d win.

“When they announced my name at the gala ceremony I started crying and by the time I got to the stage I was shaking as I had to stand up in front of 1,000 people and make a speech.”

Kelly worked at TUI for 16 years before moving to Thomas Cook, but later returned to TUI.

She said: “It’s lovely to be recognised for your hard work, but this award isn’t just for me.

“Without the staff who work so incredibly hard we wouldn’t do as well as we do, and without the customers who come back time and time again we wouldn’t be anywhere without them either.

“This is an award for everyone and I’m so pleased we have managed to bring it home.”

The store was also shortlisted in two additional categories: shop of the year and deputy manager of the year.

Kelly said: “This is all I have ever done and I love what I do, so it’s really nice to be acknowledged.

“I thought the winner would be from Manchester or somewhere much bigger, so from our point of view it’s really nice to see the little shops doing well.”

After the win, Kelly said she celebrated in the sunshine before returning home to share the victory with her team.