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The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) Licensee of the Year 2018 competition launches

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has begun its annual hunt to find this year's BII Licensee of the Year. Entries are now open online for the award programme, which is the most sought-after accolade of its kind in the licensed retail sector and recognises the top individual licensees operating in the industry today.

The competition is open to managers, lessees, tenants and free traders, and last year saw over 200 entrants from across the country vying for the top spot. It is the toughest competition of its kind with a rigorous four month judging process culminating in the announcement of the winner at the prestigious BII Summer Event on June 5th 2018. As well as the title of Licensee of the Year, the winner will receive a year's free Sky Sports subscription for their venue.

Licensees can either nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues, customers or suppliers by registering the entry at 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. Closing date for entries is 28th February.

2017’s winner, Mark Higgs from The Castle Inn in Edgehill, said of the award: “I was overwhelmed and a bit gobsmacked to be honest with you - but just absolutely chuffed to bits! It was much tougher than I expected - but to get this at the end of it is just amazing."

Mike Clist, the BII’s CEO, added: “The BII Licensee of the Year Award has been going for over 30 years now and is THE award to win if you are a licensee operating in today’s market. This competition searches for the gold standard in our industry – a licensee who excels in all aspects of running a licensed hospitality business– they really must be the full package.

Many of our previous winners are well known and hugely successful figures in the sector today, and I can't wait to meet the 2018 finalists - the field just gets stronger every year!"

David Rey, managing director of Sky Business, said: “We are proud to sponsor the BII Licensee of the Year for a second year. The standard of last year’s entries was second-to-none and I’m looking forward to seeing what the 2018 competition brings.”

“The awards recognise those licensees for whom operational excellence is paramount and who think about every aspect of their business in order to make it a successful one. The dedication and professionalism of licensees is vital for the continued growth of the on-trade and we continue to work with the BII to support both its members and the industry.”

Nominations will be open from 15th January to 28th February 2018 at

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