The event, dubbed as one the industry’s “toughest competitions”, came to a dramatic close on Tuesday (4 June) – with publicans David Hage and Mark Osborne from the Railway at Lowdham, Nottingham, scooping the top prize.
The duo fought through the previous three rounds of the competition to wow judges during final judging the day before, displaying “excellent knowledge and experience” in three different areas; Business Development, People and Training and Financial Awareness.
The business partners picked up the Licensee of the Year 2019 trophy in front of a packed audience at the BII Summer event at The HAC in the City of London after beating five other finalists to the top spot.
The Morning Advertiser’s editor, Ed Bedington, who was on the judging panel, said the standard for this year’s competition was particularly tough.
“All six finalists were fantastic operators and a great credit to the trade,” Bedington exclaimed.
“The BII’s Licensee of the Year Award is always a tough competition, and this year was no exception.
“The judging process was hard and closely fought, but in the end only one can win, and I’m delighted to congratulate David and Mark on their success and look forward to seeing how their business develops in the future.”
Breath of fresh air
Mike Clist, chief executive of the BII, said the judging was hard, but explained the pair brought something unique to the competition.
“I’d like to offer a massive congratulations to Mark and David and the whole team at the Railway on behalf of myself and everyone here at the BII,” he added.
“This is a tough competition to win, but it was clear to the judges that they had the dedication and passion deserving of a Licensee of the Year winner.”
Clist concluded that he cannot wait to see the contenders for 2020.