The team at the Polgooth Inn


Three St Austell Brewery pub teams have made it through to the semi-finals in this year’s Licensee of the Year competition, run by the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII).

Sponsored by Sky, the Licensee of the Year competition is widely regarded as the most rigorous and hard-fought award for individual pub operators in the UK, a long-standing award which has been fought for annually for more than 20 years.

Of the 12 semi-finalists, the Polgooth Inn, the Victoria Inn at Threemilestone, and the Ship Inn at Pentewan have made it onto the list, constituting a quarter of the overall national award list.

St Austell tenanted estate manager, Jim Sloan, said: “We know we have some of the most talented pub operators out there in the business, and to have their efforts recognised at this level is amazing.

“To have one publican up for the biggest prize on the pub operator’s calendar is great, but to have three is fantastic. They all thoroughly deserve to be there and we’re looking forward to finding out if one of them will end up picking up the final award.”

BII Victoria Inn

Jumping for joy at the Victoria Inn, Threemilestone


Since the launch in January, people working in the licensed trade were encouraged to not only register themselves but also nominate others. Yet again the BII has been delighted with the result, seeing customers, colleagues, pub companies, breweries and fellow operators all nominating their favourite local.

Selected from more than 200 entrants, the final 12 include licensees from across the UK, from many different types of pubs. Judges, Sue Allen, BII director of commercial and membership and chief judge, and previous winner, Ashley McCarthy, will now visit and judge the pubs in person, conducting in-depth interviews.

Once they have completed their tour of the semi-finalists’ pubs, the judges will have the difficult task of whittling them down to the six finalists, who will be put through their paces by a panel of industry experts in three areas: marketing and business development, financial awareness, and people development.

All six finalists will be presented with a trophy at the BII Summer Event on June 5, when the winner will be announced.

BII Awards Ship Inn

Kim Barker in the Caboose at the Ship Inn, Pentewan

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