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28th April 2023

Stonegate’s Accelerator Scheme celebrates biggest cohort ever at this year’s awards ceremony!

Stonegate Group’s leadership development scheme, Accelerator, has long been the envy of the industry, and this year’s graduating cohort is the biggest to date.

2023’s graduating class comprises of 70 hospitality professionals from across Stonegate Group’s pub and bar concepts, who celebrated their achievements at legendary Birmingham venue, Rosie’s, last night, alongside peers and mentors.

Structured around three in-depth workshops, the programme focusses on developing individuals within operations as leaders with their own management-style and personal goals. General and Area Managers provide a consistent line of support and encouragement throughout the process, which often sees Deputy Managers promoted and managing their own venues on completion.

Yasmin from Be at One, Norwich, is one of 70 graduates who are enthused about the benefits of the scheme to both their careers and sense of confidence and competence. Having started her career with Stonegate as a Law student, Yasmin opted for the road less travelled and decided to pursue a career in managing exceptional venues.

Yasmin said: “I wouldn’t have chosen a different career for the world. Managing my team, seeing them grow from strength to strength, creating an amazing experience for customers is what I thrive on.”

Yasmin’s team have excelled as Be at One, Norwich has racked-up accolades as a hotbed of mixology talent. Two of the team were shortlisted for Be at One’s renowned competition ‘Best in Glass’ this year.

Accelerator’s mentors come from an impressive rollcall of pub and hospitality companies. They bring with them a host of coaching skills and industry-based expertise, not to mention first-hand experience of progression within Stonegate’s businesses.

Stonegate HR Director, Tim Painter said: “Accelerator is unparalleled in the industry as it really looks at the individual and what unique attributes and talents they bring to a team.’

Key philosophies guide the training cohort throughout the year, including the mantra ‘For things to change, you made need to change.’ Success Coach, Janne Sedgwick said:

‘Having a person-centred ethos is the key to our success with this scheme. The group get to know each other well, and along with their mentors, gain a sense of being part of a supportive, professional family.’

The graduating class of 2023 have a lot to celebrate and headed out into Stonegate’s venues in Birmingham following last night’s ceremony. A fitting celebration of a transformative year for these promising professionals.



About Stonegate Group

Stonegate Group is the largest pub company in the UK.  Its portfolio is comprised of over 4,500 sites, split across the managed division and leased and tenanted businesses.

The managed pubs division, which employs over 16,000 people, is split into Branded and Traditional pubs. Branded is comprised of: Slug & Lettuce, Popworld, Be At One and Venues. Traditional (unbranded) pubs are made up of: Proper Pubs, Town Pub & Kitchen, Classic Pub & Dining, Social Pub & Kitchen and Craft Union.


  • Great British Pub Awards – Stonegate Group Pub Partners’ Pub of the Year, Best Pub to Watch Sport, Community Hero
  • BII’s National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs): HR Manager of the Year (Jemelle Bish), Best Apprenticeship Training Programme (ATOP)
  • Publican Awards – Best Community Operator (Craft Union Pub Company)


  • Licensed Trade Charity Awards   raising awareness through fundraising
  • Great British Pub Awards – Stonegate Group Pub Partners’ Pub of the Year, Best Pub to Watch Sport
  • MCA Retailers’ Retailer Awards – The Hero Award (Suzanne Baker)


  • Great British Pub Awards – Feeding the Community, Community Mindfulness & Ei Publican Partnerships Pub of the Year
  • REBA Employee Wellbeing Awards – Best New Wellbeing Strategy (5000+ staff)
  • Publican Awards – Best Pub Employer (501+ employees)
  • Publican Awards – Best Community Operator (Craft Union Pub Company)


  • BII’s National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs): HR Manager of the Year, Lee Woolley (2019); Best Managed Company for Training; Lifetime Achievement Award for Chairman, Ian Payne (2016)
  • CGA Insight Hero and Icon Awards (two awards): Icon Award   Ian Payne MBE, Business Leader, Simon Longbottom (2019)
  • UK Hospitality’s Dusk ‘til Dawn Late Night Awards (two awards) – Icon Award (Ian Payne MBE), Best Marketing and Promotions Award (2019);  Best Service & Team (2018)
  • Great British Pub Awards – Best LGBTQ+ Pub (2019); Best LGBTQ+ and Best Sports Pub (2018); Best Pub Garden, Best Entertainment and Best Sports Pub (2017); Best Sports Pub (2016);
  • BII Scotland Awards   Best Operator for Training (2019)
  • Retailers’ Retailer of the Year (two awards): Lifetime Achievement Award, Ian Payne MBE;  Investor of the Year   TDR Capital (2019); Investor of the Year: TDR Capital (2017)
  • Menu Innovation & Development Awards (MIDAS) (two awards): Best Menu, Premium High Street Pub: Slug & Lettuce; Best Menu, Town & City Pub: Walkabout (2019);  Premium High Street Pub: Town Pub & Kitchen (2017); Best New Concept:  Missoula, Montana Bar & Grill (2014); City and Bar Dining: Slug and Lettuce (2013)
  • Publican Awards (five awards): Best Community Pub Operator, Best Pub Employer (501+ employees), Best Managed Pub Company (51+ sites), Best Drinks Offer, Business Leader of the Year   Chief Executive, Simon Longbottom (2019); Best Late Night Operator (2018); Best Managed Pub Company; Best Late Night Operator, plus highly commended   Best Employer 501+ employees (2017);  Business Leader of the Year, Chairman Ian Payne (2014); Best Pub Employer 51+ sites (2013)
  • British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA)   Chairman’s Award (2018)
  • Licensed Trade Charity: Outstanding Corporate Contribution Award (2018)
  • APPBG PUBAID Corporate Charity Fundraiser Award (2018)
  • Scottish Training Federation: Best Large Employer  (2016)
  • HR Excellence Awards: Best Learning and Development Strategy (2016)
  • HR Distinction Awards: Innovation for Digital & Social Media (2016); People Development (2015); Innovative Use of Technology (2014)

Contact: Tamsin Flower, Leisure PR,