Stonegate Pub Company was celebrating last night after winning not one, but four categories in the Publican Awards, the leading awards in the pub sector and Stonegate’s chief executive, Simon Longbottom, was crowned Business Leader of the Year.

Stonegate beat hundreds of other entrants to win the titles of: Best Pub Employer (501+ employees), Best Managed Pub Company (51+ sites), Best Community Pub Operator and Best Drinks Offer at the prestigious awards ceremony which took place at Battersea Evolution in London, on Tuesday 12th March.


The company’s financial performance, combined with investment in its people, property and communities is what makes the business stand out, according to the Publican Awards judges. A rolling investment programme has seen £35 million injected into the business in the last year alone, bringing underperforming drink-led pubs back into profitable community use and acquiring businesses that fit with the growth of the organisation.

With over 14,000 employees across the country, investing in its people through its multi-award-winning Albert’s Theory of Progression training programme is a major contributing factor to Stonegate’s success, helping it to deliver continual sales and profit growth over the past eight years. In a recent employee engagement survey, nine out of 10 employees said they would recommend Stonegate as a place to work and there was huge confidence in the direction of the company and leadership of the business.

Chief Executive of Stonegate Pub Company, Simon Longbottom, said: “Winning these awards is testament to the fantastic job that all our employees do, day-in, day-out, and I couldn’t be prouder to accept them on behalf of the company.


“All our brands and formats are in like-for-like growth and our rolling programme of investment continues to pump new life into towns and cities throughout the UK. As well as the acquisition of Be At One and Novus sites, we have introduced Popworld venues in 11 new towns and cities, delivering a phenomenal 53% return on investment. Investment in our people is also at record levels and we have also developed our ‘Gr8serv’ customer experience programme to ensure we are able to respond to customer feedback and reward excellent service.


“I am absolutely delighted that our work in this area has been recognised by the Publican Awards judges and on a personal level, I am honoured to be recognised as Business Leader of the Year.”


Now more than a quarter of a century old, The Publican Awards are the leading awards in the pubco sector, rewarding excellence across a range of areas, from business success to employment practices.