Husband and wife team Alex and Tanya Williams of the Polgooth Inn in Cornwall have scooped the pub industry’s toughest award, beating off competition from over 200 other entries from across the UK to win the Sky TV-sponsored Licensee of the Year 2018 title.
Alex and Tanya fought through the previous three rounds of the competition to wow the British Institute of Innkeepers (BII) judges at the final judging day on the 4th of June, where they displayed excellent knowledge and experience in three different areas; Business Development, People and Training and Financial Awareness.
They picked up the trophy in front of a packed audience at the BII Summer event at the Honourable Artillery Company venue in the City of London last week, attended by the brightest and best from the industry.
Attending alongside fellow members of the Polgooth Inn Team, Tanya said: “It’s slightly surreal but it feels amazing. The BII Summer Party is such a massive event so it’s an honour even to be here let alone win. The whole team has worked so hard to make this award a reality so we have to say a huge thank you to all of our staff. The competition process was so tough, so you have to believe in what you are doing, that it is the right thing to do. The other finalists are so amazing – we have all become friends.”
David Rey, Managing Director of Sky Business said: “A huge congratulations to Alex and Tanya in winning the Licensee of the Year Award. Sky is delighted to sponsor this award and play a part in recognising the individuals that have achieved so much in the industry.”
Mike Clist, Chief Executive of the BII commented: “I’d like to offer a massive congratulations to Alex and Tanya and the team at the Polgooth Inn on behalf of myself and everyone here at the BII. This is a tough competition to win, but it was clear to the judges that the Williams’ had the dedication and passion deserving of Licensee of the Year winners. I’d also like to congratulate our other finalists for getting this far and being such fantastic candidates- it really was a tough decision as they all brought something unique to the competition!”
As Licensees of the Year Alex and Tanya will receive a Study Trip to Amsterdam courtesy of Heineken and honorary lifetime membership of the BII.
At the awards ceremony, Alex Williams added, “Running a pub is far more than a job, it’s a way of life and so it’s truly important not just for Tanya and me and our family, but also for the wider team and the community we live in. We all work hard to make the pub the focal point of the village and to make it work for everyone, so picking up an award like this is a huge thing for us and we’d like to thank the BII and St Austell Brewery for their support throughout the judging process.”
The Polgooth Inn was one of two St Austell Brewery pubs to have made it through to the BII finals, with Kim Barker of the Ship Inn, Pentewan also up for the main award.
Notes to editors:
The BII is a membership organisation for individuals working in the licensed retail sector, with over 9,000 individual members running premises across the UK – predominantly tenanted, leased, managed and freehold pubs.
The organisation provides free helplines, online business support, and guidance on key industry issues, face-to-face networking opportunities and savings on a range of supply deals for its members. It is the only organisation of its kind to represent the individuals working at the front line of licensed retail.
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