Since taking over the Ei-owned New Crown in Merthyr Tydfil in 2012, Jorge D’ascencao has worked closely with the council to help coordinate activities during town events, offered the pub free-of-charge for charity events and promoted local bands with live music evenings.
He was also a founding member of the business improvement district (BID) – a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve Merthyr Tydfil as a place in which to work, visit and do business.
Since its introduction in July last year, D’ascencao helped secure £223,000 investment from the Welsh Government for the area.
D’ascencao put his success down to his previous experience working with a variety of people.
He said: “Before I took over the pub, I worked in a local factory and got to know the different members of the community very well.
“I believe this is the key to my success, it’s not rocket science."
Listening to customers
He added: “You just need to listen carefully to what the customers want and deliver it, which means getting immersed in the local community.
“I take my role as a local publican very seriously as it gives me the platform needed to help drive the agenda for the community.
“That’s why I got involved with BID from the beginning and engaged with other local businesses.”
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP Gerald Jones lauded D’ascencao’s hard work.
He said: “It is great news that D’ascencao and his team are getting recognition for all their effort and hard work over the past few years."
Focal point of the community
He added: “A good pub isn’t just about selling alcohol, it’s about being a focal point of the community and it has been clear for some time that has been D’ascencao’s intention here.
“I want to thank him for all his hard work and congratulate him on this much deserved award, recognising his and his team’s hard work.”
Ei publican partnerships regional manager Miles Hancock emphasised the importance of the pub in a community.
He said: “This region is comprised of tight-knit communities who use the pub as a hub for local life, it plays a really important role in the town.
“Pubs are and will always remain, the beating heart of these communities and publicans such as D’ascencao, who take an active role in local affairs, demonstrate how far a little entrepreneurial spirit and elbow grease can get you.”