BII Licensee of the Year award 2021 launches today

After postponing the prestigious Licensee of the Year competition in 2020, the BII is delighted to announce that entries are now open for the 2021 BII Licensee of the Year award, sponsored by Sky.

The impact of the pandemic on the pub sector over the last year has been devastating, but even when their venues were closed and their businesses were at their most fragile, the nations’ licensees showed resilience, positivity and above all care for their teams, customers and local communities.

In this very special 40th year of the BII, the award has never been more important in celebrating the incredible people who run pubs at the heart of their communities.

The competition is open to members and non-members of the BII alike, whether they are managers, lessees, tenants or free traders, with entrants from all areas of the industry.

LOYA is renowned in the industry as the toughest competition of its kind, with a rigorous four month judging process, culminating in the crowning of the winner at the prestigious BII Winter Event on Tuesday 23 November 2021.

As well as becoming Licensee of the Year, the winner will receive a year's free Sky Sports Pubs and Clubs subscription for their venue and £500 towards a celebration with their whole team in their pub.

Licensees can either nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues, customers or suppliers at www.bii.org. Entrants must have been operating their business for a minimum of 2 years, hold a Personal Licence and have a food hygiene rating of 4 or 5 at their venue.

The 2019 winners, Mark Osborne and David Hage from The Railway in Lowdham, have been fantastic ambassadors for the BII since their victory, being the first to hold the title for more than a year!

Speaking about winning in 2019, David commented: “I can honestly say that winning was a top moment in my life. I still get goose-bumps even thinking about it.”

Steven Alton, CEO of the BII, said, “It was incredibly disappointing that the pandemic forced us to cancel the Licensee of the Year competition in 2020. However, having been part of the LOYA judging panels over the last few years, I am delighted to now be part of the team that is running LOYA 2021 in this very special year for the BII.

“We are working with key industry experts and leaders in their fields to make this year’s awards the best that they have ever been. Our focus for 2021 will be on how licensees have weathered the storm over the last year, but also about the positive impact they have had on their teams and communities.

'We are looking forward to once again welcoming the very best licensees to be put through their paces and recognising and celebrating the fantastic work that they do, especially over the last 18 months.”

Tracy Harrison, Director of Marketing at Sky Business said, “We are delighted to work with the BII and lend our support to one of the industry’s top competitions. The calibre of finalists at LOYA is always outstanding and it’s fantastic to recognise those licensees who go the extra mile for their business.

'Anyone who has a passion for their business and wants to showcase their success should think about entering the competition.”