BII Licensee of the Year finalists face their toughest test

By Fred A'Court

- Last updated on GMT

Former champion: last year's Licensee of the Year winner Mark Higgs (centre, pictured with BII chief executive Mike Clist and Sky Business MD David Rey)
Former champion: last year's Licensee of the Year winner Mark Higgs (centre, pictured with BII chief executive Mike Clist and Sky Business MD David Rey)
Six finalists in the Licensee of the Year competition run by the The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) have been announced.

Licensees from two inns in Cornwall are joined in the final by licensees from London, Hampshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

They are:

  • Kim Barker, The Ship Inn – Pentewan, Cornwall
  • Lee and Keris de Villiers, The Pig & Whistle – Wandsworth, south-west London
  • Marc Duvauchelle, The Old Customs House – Portsmouth, Hampshire
  • Christopher Norfolk, The Elm Tree – Elmton, Derbyshire
  • Mark Shaw, The Castle Inn – Castle Donington, Leicestershire
  • Alex and Tanya Williams, Polgooth Inn – St Austell, Cornwall

Judges visited the pubs of 12 semi-finalists assessing standards from car parks and outside areas right through to cellars and kitchens as well as trading areas. They also completed in-depth interviews with the entrants covering all aspects of their business, their commitment to staff and to their own personal development to whittle entries down to the final six..

They now face their toughest challenge so far. On 4 June, they face three judging panels of industry experts and will be grilled on business development, people and training, and financial awareness.

High standard

The winner will be announced to more than 800 guests at the BII’s summer event in the historic setting of  the Honourable Artillery Gardens in the City of London on 5 June. The gardens were originally used for archery practice, cricket was played there as early as 1725 and it was the site of the first balloon ascent in England in 1784.

BII chief executive Mike Clist, said “We consistently see an extremely high standard of entrants and 2018 has been no exception, which gave the judges a tough challenge narrowing it down from our 12 fantastic semi-finalists to just six. Congratulations to all of the finalists - I wish them well in the final stage.”

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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