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20th June 2024

BII Licensee of the Year Award 2024 Winner: Justine Lorriman from The Royal Dyche

The BII Licensee of the Year competition is widely regarded as the most rigorous and hard-fought award for individual licensee operators in the UK. Since January 2024, operators from across the UK have been whittled down from a field of over 300 nominations, all vying to become the next BII Licensee of the Year winner.

Following a final judging day at Sky Head Quarters on Monday 17th June, where each of the six finalists faced three panels of industry experts and operators, Justine Lorriman from The Royal Dyche in Burnley was named as the champion!

Excelling across all areas of the competition, Justine faced incredibly tough competition from the five other finalists, from a diverse range of business models and experience, with her performance on the final judging day seeing her take the top spot.

Taking on her pub 11 years ago, it was originally called The Princess Royal, but a joke on a chalkboard eventually saw the pub change to The Royal Dyche in 2018, immortalising Burnley FC’s then manager Sean Dyche.

With Justine at the helm, the business has been transformed into a pivotal local landmark and a hub of inclusivity, where customers from across the community can come together in a safe and welcoming space. Despite football being a key feature of The Royal Dyche, the events and other occasions that the pub supports, mean that match days are no longer their busiest times, with festivals, live music and charity fundraising bringing in customers from far and wide.

Justine’s dedication to transforming her pub into the centre of her community and the pride she takes in it are summed up in her own words: “At the Royal Dyche, you’re not just a face in the crowd; you are a valued member of my sports-loving family.”

Justine was crowned winner in front of colleagues and industry friends at this year’s BII Summer Event, hosted on Tuesday 18th June, at the beautiful HAC Royal Artillery Gardens in Moorgate.

Steve Alton, Chief Executive of the BII commented:

“I’d like to offer a massive congratulations to Justine on behalf of myself and the whole team here at the BII, including our fantastic judges. This is the most rigorous and intense competition in our industry, so I would like to also congratulate our other wonderful finalists on this incredible achievement. This year more than ever, we saw incredible diversity across the operators and business models represented by our finalists, proving once again how much the great British pub has to offer in every community across the UK.

“Justine’s leadership, innovation and tenacity as an operator is simply inspirational. She represents everything that is uniquely brilliant about our industry, and we can’t wait to share the excellence and experience from her, and all our finalists over the coming year.”

The BII would also like to thank everyone who entered this year’s competition. Despite the huge challenges they continue to face. Their tenacity and sheer determination for continued excellence has been an inspiration to the whole BII team.

The LOYA competition will return in 2025, launching in January.


Notes to the editor:

About the British Institute of Innkeeping:

The BII is the leading independent licensee support organisation for individuals working in hospitality, with over 13,000 individual members running premises across the UK – predominantly tenanted, leased, managed and freehold pubs. The organisation provides expert helplines, online business support, and guidance on key industry issues, and savings on a range of supply deals for its members, keeping pubs thriving in the heart of every community.

For further information please contact:

Molly Davis

Head of Communications

Sentinel House, Ancells Business Park, Harvest Crescent, Fleet, GU51 2UZ

Mob: 07539 377752


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