A Cornish pub took home the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) Licensee of the Year award this week, beating five other finalists to the top prize.

The Polgooth Inn in St Austell, which is run by tenants Alex and Tanya Williams who won the competition, which is sponsored by Sky, following three other rounds, displaying knowledge and experience across the three elements being judged: business development, people and training, and financial awareness.

The pub is a 16th century inn, owned by local brewery St Austell, with a menu of locally sourced food, a large beer garden, and open coal fires throughout. It has live music, pub quizzes, a monthly gin club, and also holds numerous charity events.

 

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Tanya said: "It's slightly surreal and it feels amazing. I'm bordering on emotional.

"The competition process was so tough, so you have to believe in what you are doing, that it is the right thing. The other finalists are so amazing – we have all become friends."

Chief executive of the BII, Mike Clist, said: "This is a tough competition to win, but it was clear to the judges that the Williams' had the dedication and passion deserving of Licensee of the Year winners.

"I'd also like to congratulate our other finalists for getting this far and being such fantastic candidates- it really was a tough decision as they all brought something unique to the competition!"

Managing director of Sky Business, David Rey said Sky was delighted to "play a part in recognising the individuals that have achieved so much in the industry."

Alex and Tanya will now receive a year's subscription to sky sports, a study trip to Amsterdam courtesy of Heineken, and honorary lifetime membership of the BII.