Glen Pearson, licensee of the Shibden Mill in Halifax, has been named as one of the six finalists in this year’s Licensee of the Year Awards, held by The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the leading professional body for the UK’s licensees.

The Shibden Mill is over 300 years old and nestled in the West Yorkshire valleys of Shibden. Offering high quality food & drink as well as five star accommodation, the 17th century inn is set in an idyllic setting for locals and tourists alike to enjoy. Glen, who has a background in large-scale catering, took over the reins of the pub 18 years ago and has found it the most enjoyable period of his career. He has already received considerable industry recognition, including most-recently being acknowledged as the Sky Great British Pub of the Year at the 2015 Great British Pub Awards.

Shibden Mill_H005 (2)Glen says, ‘I started off as a trainee chef at the age of 16 years before working my way up the ranks with a contract caterer. I then spent 10 years with the council’s catering team before moving to the Shibden Mill.

He continues, ‘I’ve been a BII member for over five years and have found the support and information on industry issues provided extremely useful. I’m delighted to now be recognised by a third party who entered me into the Licensee of the Year process which led me to making the final. Based on the depth of detail expected of you in the process so far, I can see why this award is well worth winning and am honored to even get to this stage.’

After their initial written submission, the finalists have already been through audits on food hygiene ratings, independent social media audits and mystery customer visits and also welcomed the judging panel to their premises for a full site visit and in depth interviews.The six finalists now face a panel judging day in May where they will be quizzed by industry experts in four areas; Marketing, Industry Affairs, Finance and People & Training. All finalists will be presented with trophies at the BII Summer Event on 7th June, when the overall winner of Licensee of the Year 2016, sponsored by BT Sport, will be announced.

John Sharratt, chair of the judging panel, commented: “Over the 13 years of my involvement with this award it continues to be a privilege to have the opportunity to meet and talk with professional, passionate, successful and inspirational licensees. This year has been particularly challenging to judge not just because of the large number of entries originally received but also the quality witnessed during our visits by those successfully competing to operate in an ever demanding business environment.”


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