BII unveils semi-finalists for licensee of the year

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Looking back: Last year's winner Mark Higgs (centre) with the BII's Mike Clist (l) and Sky Business MD David Rey
Looking back: Last year's winner Mark Higgs (centre) with the BII's Mike Clist (l) and Sky Business MD David Rey
The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has revealed the line-up for its prestigious licensee of the year awards 2018.

The organisation said that while there was some “familiar faces” on the list, there were also some new contenders this year.

“Everyone is pushing the boundaries of what a truly outstanding licensee is and we couldn't be happier with how the field is shaping up,” it said.

The 12 semi-finalists will now be visited and interviewed by judges: Sue Allen, BII director of commercial and membership; and Ashley McCarthy, former BII licensee of the year.

Licensee of the Year 2018 - Semi-finalists

Kim Barker - The Ship Inn - St Austell, Cornwall

Daniel Da Costa - St Christopher's Inn - Southwark, central London

Lee & Keris de Villiers - the Pig & Whistle - Wandsworth, south London

Marc Duvauchelle - The Old Customs House - Portsmouth, Hampshire

Mark Holden & Justin Barnett - the Victoria Inn - Truro, Cornwall

Simon Mills - The Harvester - Long Itchington, Warwickshire

Christopher Norfolk - The Elm Tree - Elmton, Derbyshire

Mark Shaw - The Castle Inn - Castle Donington, Derbyshire

Jessica Stanton & Russ Matterson - The Halfway House Pub & Kitchen - Polbathic, Cornwall

Mark & Penny Thornhill - the King's Head - Hursley, Hampshire

Rachel Watson - the George IV - Chiswick, west London

Alex & Tanya Williams - Polgooth Inn - St Austell, Cornwall

McCarthy said: “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.” 

There are two big prizes up for grabs this year because sponsors Sky will provide the ultimate winner a year’s free Sky Sports subscription for their venue and the winner will also be jetting off to Amsterdam for a study tour as guests of Heineken.

The finalists will also be given a free year's membership to the BII or a year's extension if they are already members.

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 

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