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NWTC sweeps board at Publican Awards

By Ed Bedington , 15-Mar-2017
Last updated on 16-Mar-2017 at 16:08 GMT2017-03-16T16:08:40Z

Winners: NWTC scooped six awards
Winners: NWTC scooped six awards

The New World Trading Company (NWTC) swept the board across six categories to dominate the prestigious Publican Awards.

The company has become the first in the awards' 26-year history to take titles in every category it entered, including New Site, Operations Team, Large Employer, Drinks Offer, Brand/Concept and Small Managed.

Speaking at the award ceremony, NWTC managing director Chris Hill said winning the awards was a "dream".

“To win six awards tonight is the most amazing, surreal, feeling,” he said. “These are the industry awards – I can’t actually put into words how I feel.”

Other winners on the night included Stonegate, which took two titles, Large Managed and Late Night Operator, as well as a highly commended in the Large Employer category, and the Coaching Inn Group, which also took a further two titles, Small Employer and Accommodation.

Stonegate chief executive Simon Longbottom said: “We feel extremely lucky – I was on stage with all of my team, celebrating winning our awards of Large Managed and Late Night Operator – we are absolutely thrilled.”

Commenting on the awards, Longbottom added: “This event keeps getting bigger and bigger. It is a massive go-to industry event. We believe in the British pub, we invest in the British pub. We have 13,000 employees working really hard to deliver great service – and that has been recognised by the judges. We are really pleased.”

Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars took the Best Food Offer award, which husband and wife team Mary McLaughlin and Tim Bird said they were "really happy" about.

“It means a lot, not just for me and Tim, but for all of our team and our chefs," said McLaughlin. “They work so hard – day in, day out – to develop new menus and strategies to delight our customers. This award is for all our suppliers, and all the local people who contribute to our business.”

Bird added: “There are no chains, and each pub has an individual personality, and they support local suppliers. We are accepting this award tonight for all those back of house.”

‘Quite an achievement’

Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser, which organises the awards, said: “We’ve had multiple winners in the past, but I don’t think anyone’s ever managed to take home more than three, so for NWTC to sweep the board with six is quite an achievement.

“With individual judging panels all declaring the north-west-based business best in class, this is a company that is certainly firing on all cylinders and I’d like to congratulate them on their success.

“In fact, I’d like to praise all our finalists and winners from the event – this is a very challenging competition, which we make no apology for, and it’s no mean feat to make it through to the night itself.

“Winning is the icing on the cake, but it’s great to see that there are so many great operators out there, delivering such excellent experiences to customers throughout the hospitality sector.”

About the awards, Oakman Inns & Restaurants chief executive Peter Borg-Neal said: “I am delighted to win the community award – surprised and delighted.

Commenting on what makes his company a winner, he explained: “We really care, we really want to get it right. We want to deliver a really top-end pub experience.”

Largest industry awards

The judging day was the culmination of the multi-stage process that is the awards, and saw all of the finalists go head to head in their various categories to fight for the titles.

The Publican Awards is the largest industry awards event for the sector, with almost 1,400 people attending the event at Battersea Evolution yesterday (14 March), to join The Morning Advertiser and celebrity host Jonathan Ross, who handed out the prizes.

Bedington added: “The Publican Awards have been recognising excellence in the pub company sector for more than 25 years now, and it’s great to see that standards continue to rise across the sector.

“It’s a real pleasure and honour to be able to host these awards and to join in the celebration of everything that’s great in this sector.”

The full list of winners

Best Accommodation Operator, sponsored by Hospitality Gem: The Coaching Inn Group

Best Brewing Pub Company, sponsored by MCA: North Bar/North Brewing Co

Best Community Pub Operator, sponsored by Britvic: Oakman Inns & Restaurants

Best Drinks Offer, sponsored by Coca-Cola European Partners: New World Trading Company

Best Value Food Offer, sponsored by The Bar & Pub Show: Sonnet 43 Brew Pubs 

Best Food Offer, sponsored by CGA Strategy: Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars

Best Premium Food Offer, sponsored by McCain: Bel & The Dragon

Best Managed Pub Company (2-50 sites), sponsored by Molson Coors: New World Trading Company

Best Managed Pub Company (51+ sites), sponsored by CPL Training: Stonegate Pub Company

Best New Pub/Bar, sponsored by Heineken: The Club House, Liverpool (New World Trading Company)

Best Pub Operations Team, sponsored by Farm Frites: New World Trading Company

Best Pub Brand/Concept, sponsored by Asahi: The Botanist (New World Trading Company)

Best Pub Employer (1-499 employees), sponsored by Sky: The Coaching Inn Group

Best Pub Employer (500+ employees), sponsored by ABInBev: New World Trading Company

Best Late Night Operator, sponsored by Jagermeister: Stonegate Pub Company

Best Tenanted/Leased Pub Company (up to 200 sites), sponsored by Sky: Everards

Best Tenanted/Leased Pub Company (201+ sites), sponsored by Kuehne + Nagel: Greene King Pub Partners

Responsible Retailer of the Year, sponsored by DrinkAware: Novus Leisure

Business leader of the Year, sponsored by Poppleston Allen: Peter Borg-Neal

Outstanding Industry Contribution, sponsored by The Morning Advertiser: Stephen Goodyear