Craft Union awards £100k to community champions

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Celebrating success: more than 600 delegates attended the awards
Celebrating success: more than 600 delegates attended the awards
Ei Group managed arm Craft Union Pub Company has celebrated the work of its operators across the nation at its annual awards.

More than 600 people attended the ceremony, which took place at Winter Gardens Blackpool, Lancashire, included 200 pubs being awarded a combined £100,000 in prize money with a further £15,000 donated to charity.

The Claughton Hotel in Birkenhead won Pub of the Year, taking home £2,000 and a holiday to Las Vegas.

The Boundary in Norwich, Norfolk, took home the Community Pub of the Year award with a prize of a trip to Rome and £5,000 to support local charities.

Judges praised the Boundary for Christmas food donations, regular events for local deaf people, a Monday club for lonely people and a number of other fundraising initiatives.

Overall winner

The winners were chosen following a judging process that included regional managers nominating pubs based on financial performance and community initiatives. The list was then whittled down to 20 venues before the overall winner was chosen.

Craft Union also announced 20 winners from its Love Your Local ​campaign, which all received a donation to support a local charity.

The initiative that ran throughout February asked customers to nominate the pub they love by writing a love letter. These were submitted via post boxes across the estate and, in total, more than 5,000 letters were received and judged.

Craft Union Pub Company operations director Frazer Grimbleby said: “We are a fast-growing business that I’m immensely proud to be a part of.

“These awards give us the opportunity to take a step back and celebrate the outstanding operators and personalities we have across our estate.”

High calibre

He added: “Pubs supporting the communities they serve is a deep-rooted value of ours and it was fantastic to be able to recognise and reward the achievement of our operators who truly live and breathe our values day in, day out and consistently go above and beyond to make a difference.

“Due to the high calibre of entries, the judging process was incredibly challenging. It really is amazing what can be achieved when you have a union of people all with the same focus and motivation of creating pubs at the heart of communities and I’m very much looking forward to taking this momentum into the year ahead.”

The Boundary operator Jonathon Childs hailed the award and the benefits of being part of Craft Union Pub Company.

He said: “It is a true honour to win the Community Pub of the Year. Craft Union is all about making pubs the backbone of communities and the support and freedom they have given us to help local people and worthy causes has been nothing short of amazing.

“Spending the day with fellow operators from across the country who are all pushing towards the same goals was incredibly inspiring and enjoyable and we can’t wait for next year already.”

Related topics: MA500 Business Club

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