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BII Licensee of the Year 2018 Semi-Finalists Announced

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) – the leading professional body representing the UK’s licensees – is delighted to announce the twelve semi-finalists for this year’s Licensee of the Year competition have been selected.

Sponsored by Sky, the Licensee of the Year competition is widely regarded as the most rigorous and hardfought award for individual licensee operators in the U.K; a longstanding award it has been held annually for over 20 years.

Since the launch in January, people working in the licensed trade were encouraged to not only register themselves but also nominate others. Yet again the BII has been delighted with the result, seeing customers, colleagues, pub companies, breweries and fellow operators all nominating their favorite ‘local’. Selected from over 200 entrants, the final twelve include licensees from across the breadth of the UK, from many different types of pubs.

Our judges, Sue Allen, BII Director of Commercial and Membership and Chief Judge and previous LOYA winner, Ashley McCarthy will now visit and judge these pubs in person, conducting in depth interviews. The 2018 Licensee of the Year semi-finalists are as follows:

  • Kim Barker – The Ship Inn – St Austell
  • Daniel Da Costa – St Christopher’s Inn – Southwark
  • Lee & Keris de Villiers – The Pig & Whistle – Wandsworth
  • Marc Duvauchelle – The Old Customs House – Portsmouth
  • Mark Holden & Justin Barnett – The Victoria Inn – Truro
  • Simon Mills – The Harvester – Long Itchington
  • Christopher Norfolk – The Elm Tree – Elmton
  • Mark Shaw – The Castle Inn – Castle Donnington
  • Jessica Stanton & Russ Matterson – The Halfway House Pub & Kitchen – Polbathic
  • Mark & Penny Thornhill – The King’s Head – Hursley
  • Rachel Watson – The George IV – Chiswick
  • Alex & Tanya Williams – Polgooth Inn – St Austell

Ashley McCarthy commented: “Every year, the entrants continue to raise the bar, and 2018 is no exception. It has been really tough to decide on the final twelve, but I’m very much looking forward to seeing these pubs in person and getting to know the semi-finalists”.

David Rey, managing director of Sky Business, said: “We sponsor the BII Licensee of the Year Award because we recognise the importance of rewarding outstanding licensees for the tireless work they do to support the on-trade. Congratulations to all those that have been nominated as semi-finalists.”

Once they have completed their tour of the semi-finalists’ pubs, the judges will have the difficult task of whittling them down to the six finalists, who will be put through their paces by a panel of industry experts in three areas: Marketing & Business Development, Financial Awareness and People Development.

All six finalists will be presented with a trophy at the BII Summer Event on the 5th June, where the winner of Licensee of the Year 2018 will be crowned.

The BII would like to thank everyone who entered the competition this year.