Since the competition, which is sponsored by Sky, launched in January, operators have been encouraged to nominate themselves and others to enter.
Selected from 200 entrants, the 12 semi-finalists include licensees from across the nation. Judges include BII commercial and membership director Sue Allen and former Licensee of the Year winner Ashley McCarthy who will now visit and judge the pubs in person.
The semi-finalists are:
- Danny and Tara Adams – the Greyhound, Bromham, Wiltshire
- Jo Ashton – Wigan Central, Wigan, Greater Manchester
- James and Tom Bainbridge – the Tilbury, Datchworth, Hertfordshire
- Fiona Beck – the County Hotel, Hexham, Northumberland
- Michelle Frankgate – Drayton Court Hotel, Ealing, west London
- David Hage – the Railway, Lowdham, Nottinghamshire
- Michael Hales – the Butlers Arms, Pleasington, Blackburn, Lancashire
- Victoria and Gavin Hunt – the Fox, Lyng, Norfolk
- Jem Morey – Ye Olde Reindeer Inn, Banbury, Oxfordshire
- Samantha Robinson – Queens Head, Troutbeck, Windermere, Cumbria
- Jayne Tilsley – the Fox & Hounds, Theale, Berkshire
- Sean White – Queen’s Head, Pinner, north-west London
McCarthy said: “Every year, the entrants continue to raise the bar and 2019 is no exception. It has been really tough to decide on the final 12 but I’m very much looking forward to seeing these pubs in person and getting to know the semi-finalists.”
Once the judges have visited all the semi-finalists, they will then have to whittle the list down to six finalists, who will then be up in front of industry experts in three areas – marketing & business development, financial awareness and people development.
The six finalists will be presented with a trophy at the BII Summer Event on 4 June, where the winner of the Licensee of the Year competition will be crowned.
Sky Business managing director David Rey 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.”