Celebrating the pub trade's finest

By The PMA Team

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Great british pub Business plan

Charity: Britain's pub trade has got talent
Charity: Britain's pub trade has got talent
The winners of the Great British Pub Awards are shining examples of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication, says The PMA Team.

Last Thursday night, the best licensees in the country were honoured at the Great British Pub Awards ceremony at the Hilton hotel on Park Lane in London. It was an occasion for celebration as it confirmed that Britain's pub trade's got talent.

The judges, sponsors and Morning Advertiser reporters who visited the winning outlets were struck by the professionalism and entrepreneurial skills on display. It is heartening to see that licensees with sound business plans, dedication and the desire to work hard can prosper.

A particularly encouraging sign was the high quality of entrants to the trade. None of the regional winners in the Newcomer of the Year category regretted entering the trade, many of whom gave up professional or well-paid jobs to forge new careers. This trait was epitomised by Brad and Molly Atherton of the Kings Arms in St Just, Cornwall, who won the overall award. They got rid of their advertising and marketing business to take on the pub, which was on the verge of closing. Locals rewarded their determination to save this pub by offering to help them redecorate it for free. Within six months, barrelage at the Kings Arms had increased fivefold and is now the highest it has been since the 1960s.

A similar success story is unfolding at the Fighting Cocks at Horton Kirby in Kent, which was voted Tenanted/Leased Pub of the Year. There, Chris and Vanessa Maskery together with business partner Steve Prebble invested £300,000 of their own money to transform the pub and unlock the trading potential of a "sleeping giant". None of the trio had any trade experience, but commitment and a sound business plan have combined to push the pub's turnover up by 60% over the past year.

Imagine being promoted to manager at a new pub and given three months to prove yourself and also save the pub from closure. This was the pressure Belinda Cheeseman was under when she took on the Quart Pot in Runwell, Essex, and purged the pub's less-than-brilliant reputation. Her dogged determination and dedication to staff training won through to return the pub to profitability. Battlesteads, the Wark-on-Tyne, Northumberland freehouse that won the supreme award of Great British Pub of the Year, should provide inspiration for licensees everywhere. Richard and Dee Slade have spent 40 years in the trade and pioneered the cause of cutting energy consumption and lowering the carbon footprint of their pub, while still creating a rounded business with healthy wet, dry and accommodation sales. These examples are but a few of the outstanding contributions made by the 111 licensees who won regional awards.

Our newspaper clipping file shows their achievements are getting the recognition they deserve in the wider world of local media — local newspapers love to report on a pub success story.

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