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The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) are delighted to announce the six finalists for the Licensee of the Year (LOYA) competition 2019.

2018 Awards

The competition, sponsored by Sky, is now in its final stage leading up to the BII’s spectacular Summer Event at the HAC Gardens on 4th June, where the winner will be crowned. Over the past month, their judges have visited the pubs of all twelve semi-finalists, spread across the whole of the UK assessing standards from car parks and outside areas, right through to cellars and kitchens as well as trading areas. They also completed in-depth interviews with the entrants, covering all aspects of their business, their commitment to staff and to their own personal development.

The fantastic six finalists for this year are: 

James & Tom Bainbridge – The Tilbury, Datchworth

Michelle Frankgate – Drayton Court Hotel, Ealing

David Hage & Mark Osborne – The Railway, Lowdham

Victoria & Gavin Hunt – The Fox, Lyng

Samantha  Robinson – Queens Head, Troutbeck

Danny & Tara Adams – The Greyhound, Bromham

Mike Clist, CEO of the BII said: The BII Licensee of the Year competition has long been renowned for being the most rigorous of all the awards in licensed retailing and is the one that individual operators really want to win. We consistently see an extremely high standard of entrants and 2019 has been no exception. In the current climate, we feel more than ever that the talent and commitment of exceptional licensees needs to be recognised and rewarded and I wish our fantastic finalists well in the final stage of the competition.”

The group now face their toughest challenge so far. On 3rd June they will face 3 judging panels made up of industry experts and be grilled on Business Development, People & Training and Financial Awareness. The overall winner will be decided and announced at the BII Summer Event the next day, on 4th June attended by over 800 of the great and good of the licensed trade in the UK.

Samantha Robinson, General Manager at the Queens Head, Troutbeck, said: “I am so pleased to be a finalist in the BII Licensee of the Year competition. I have been in the trade for 31 years and I am very proud and grateful for this recognition, alongside being part of Robinsons.”

Samantha Robinson, General Manager at the Queens Head, Troutbeck

For more information on the Queens Head, Troutbeck, please visit 

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