Everything you need to know about The Publican Awards 2024

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

How do I get to The Publican Awards 2024 Battersea?

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Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s Publican Awards, which will take place next Wednesday in an all-out ceremony in south London.

The celebration sees leading figures from some of the biggest and best pub companies in Britain gather to toast excellence throughout the sector.

The Publican Awards will commence at Battersea Evolution on the evening of 27 March 2024.

Evolution is a purpose-built venue located on an exclusive site in the heart of the Grade II listed Battersea Park, on Queenstown Road.

It is easily accessible from the underground via Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park or Sloane Square and London Victoria.

If you are driving to Evolution, vehicle access is via the Chelsea Bridge Gate entrance of Battersea Park only.

There is no access to the venue via the Albert Bridge Gate entrance.

You can also reach the venue via Uber Boat by the Thames Clipper Battersea Power Station Pier.

Comedian Tom Allen has been confirmed as this year’s host.

In 2005, he won the So You Think You’re Funny contest at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and has supported Sarah Millican on her sold-out tour of Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

He has also supported Josh Widdicombe, Romesh Ranganathan and Michael McIntyre.

Allen has also appeared on TV shows including The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

All guests will be wined, dined and thoroughly entertained throughout the evening.

But what’s the history of the awards?

The first Publican Awards were staged in 1992 by The Publican newspaper.

It was held at a glittering awards ceremony at the Park Lane Hilton in the May of 1992.

Comic and game show host Bob Monkhouse, not for the last time, was named as compere and, on their way to Barcelona, stars from the Great Britain Olympics team led by Tessa Sanderson – and sponsored by Carlsberg — were invited as special guests.

About 700 people attended and applauded a dozen awards categories that gave individual and corporate operators alike a chance to win.

By 1997, numbers attending had soared to 1,500, and the dinner was a regular booking at the Grosvenor House Hotel, the only venue in London big enough to cater for it. In 2000, the awards were broadcast live on Sky Business, enabling thousands more in pubs up and down the country to cheer on their local.

The following year it got even bigger as the company awards were split to make sure smaller tenanted and managed groups had as good a chance to win as the industry giants, and, in 2003, attendance peaked at an astonishing 1,970.

The biggest change to the event came in 2012 following the merger of The Publican with the Morning Advertiser (MA). Individual pub categories joined those in The MA’s Great British Pub Awards (GBPA) while The Publican Awards focused on multiple operators.

That allowed excellence to be recognised in new categories such as Best Accommodation Operator, Best Food Offer, Best Community Pub Operator, Best New Site and Best Employer, as well as introducing an award for pub estates run by the burgeoning microbrewery sector.

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