Six pub operators have been named as finalists for the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) Licensee of the Year Award.
The announcement comes ahead of the BII's Summer Event and Annual Lunch on 2 June.
This year celebrates the 30th Licensee of the Year, with two husband and wife teams up for the award, both of whom also made the finals in 2014.
The awards recognise the country's top licensees with a passion for the trade. Judging will be based on the finalists' ability to display business acumen, operational skills, outstanding customer service standards and the ability to be innovative in the market. On the day the finalists will sit on four interview panels, covering finance, people and training, marketing and business development and general industry issues.
"It is an extremely impressive achievement to be crowned as the BII Licensee of the Year and despite the high number of industry awards at present, it is still considered to be the industry's most coveted award," said Tim Hulme, chief executive of the BII.
"Competition has been particularly fierce this year and with our guest speaker, Sir Clive Woodward, I look forward to announcing our 2015 winner at the Summer Event and Annual Lunch on 2 June."
The 2015 Licensee of the Year Award finalists are:
- Tim Tomlinson - Merchants 1688, Lancaster
- Mike Wheeler - Penwig, New Quay
- John Horton - Abbey House hotel & gardens, Barrow-in-Furness
- Sandy Castle - the Fatling, Hornchurch
- Keith and Diane Marsden - the Prince of Wales, Mosley
A judging panel of 12 industry experts will interview the finalists and decide who will be named this year's winner on Thursday 7 May 2015.
John Sharratt, chairman of the judging panel, said: "The finalists are being judged on their ability to lead, inspire and develop the team they employ as well as themselves; so the People and Training panel will be an important one."
The winner will be announced at the Summer Event and Annual Lunch, which takes place at the Artillery Garden of the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), Chiswell Street, London on 2 June 2015. Tickets for this event are available at biievents.org/