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Real Community Commitment

Leading Admiral Taverns landlord celebrates 20 years running Manchester pub

by admin 4/15/2015 10:27:00 AM

A top Manchester licensee is celebrating clocking up an incredible 20 years at the helm.

While former DJ Simon Delaney attributes his two-decade tenure at The Firbank in Wythenshawe to a number of factors, his business partners Admiral Taverns, the company that owns the pub, say it is his focus on marketing that sets him apart.

Neil Rhymes from Admiral, an award-wining community pub group that lets the pub to Simon, said: “Simon is a fabulous licensee – a one-off.  There are many reasons why he’s been so successful, but first and foremost he is an enthusiastic and energetic licensee who is always shouting about what’s happening at the pub, or planning the next event, or thinking about what he can do to make The Firbank stand out.”  
Simon, who first took the keys to the pub in 1995, has managed to successfully position The Firbank as both a city centre-style venue and a community-based local. He cares passionately about the community and always ensures that he is involving those in the local area with his community-building events – some of these include pensioner lunches, poker evenings, live music gigs and karaoke nights. Simon also provides taxi stewards in partnership with a local taxi firm.
The leading licensee is a prominent technology-enthusiast, too, and understands the importance of being on top of modern technology trends. He has recently adopted the app, ‘Orderella’, which allows customers to order drinks directly from their smart phones. Simon also has a strong social media presence, which includes a five-star rating on tourism review website, Trip Advisor – with one recent review describing The Firbank as ‘the friendliest local pub’.

To mark the 20-year milestone Simon planned a comedy night, plus a party with the locals and regular customers.



Simon Delay, Licensee at the Firbank

Planning the next 20 years
Despite the achievement Simon insists he has no plans to slow down, and is planning a business-expanding investment.  He is currently in discussions with Admiral for the Wythenshawe-based venue to undergo building works this year that will create a new kitchen and enable Simon to launch a comprehensive food offer.

The plans include a new name – ‘The Firbank Pub & Kitchen’ – and a diverse menu, involving speciality homemade burgers, bar snacks and breakfast. At the same time the pub’s drinks range will also be extended to include cask ale, and a new website will be launched, too.

Rather than looking back, Simon says he is focused on what lies ahead for him and his pub. “It’s great to celebrate 20 years, and I genuinely love the pub and our customers, but what really excites me is the future – here’s to the next 20 years!”

Rhymes, who in his role as business development manager for Admiral, works closely with the Wythenshawe publican, added: “Simon’s approach is one of the fundamental reasons as to why he runs The Firbank so well. He knows the pub trade inside out and has a real awareness about what his customers want - these are very important attributes for a successful licensee.

“It’s all about the ‘offer’ – to run a quality pub you’ve got to have the whole package, from genuine passion to intense ambition, and Simon does, which is why he has enjoyed such a successful 20 years in this competitive industry.”




Carlsberg UK unveil a beer tap billboard

by admin 4/9/2015 10:41:00 AM

On 8 March, for one day only, Carlsberg UK unveiled a three-metre by 12-metre billboard, complete with a beer tap, bringing to life its ‘Probably’ campaign for the benefit of workers and shoppers in a bustling part of east London.

The national beer and beverage company commissioned the interactive poster at the Truman Brewery on the edge of London’s Spitalfields Market, with members of the public able to pour themselves a half-pint of beer from an embedded Carlsberg tap.

David Scott, director of brands and insight at Carlsberg UK, said: “There was a real buzz around the billboard, from spectators to those enjoying a beer in the sunshine.

“It’s a big year for Carlsberg and we have bold investment plans for the brand. The interactive billboard is a world-first and truly brings to life the return of the ‘If Carlsberg did’ campaign, enabling people to participate in this iconic advertising slogan.”


Farage, the pub-friendly Politician

by admin 4/9/2015 10:40:00 AM

Pint-supping Nigel Farage has been named as the party leader most would like a drink with – almost half of respondents said they would have a pint with the UK Independence Party (UKIP) chief, which was perhaps in a nod to Farage’s pub-friendly persona.

The online poll was completed by a self-selecting sample of 367 licensees and they chose Farage above David Cameron (29%) and Ed Miliband (8%).

The survey painted a grim picture for the prospects of the Liberal Democrats, with just 6% of readers saying they would vote for the party, currently the junior partner in the coalition Government, and only 4% saying they would like a pint with leader Nick Clegg.


From pulling pints to pinpointing top talent – former pub licensee joins Admiral team

by admin 4/8/2015 3:16:00 PM


The move from running a pub to area management is a well-trodden path at Admiral Taverns, with around half of its Business Development Managers having previously served as licensees. However, the step from pub landlord to pub company recruitment is the road less travelled at Admiral – until now.

The award-winning community pub group has appointed former pub licensee and head chef Tony Moss to its recruitment and training team in Chester, as recruitment coordinator.

He will use his previous experience of the pub game to help licensees through the recruitment journey, and to help Admiral identify the right individuals for the right pubs.

Suzanne Smith, head of recruitment and people development at Admiral, said: “Tony and his partner were passionate and dedicated licensees at the Griffin Inn [an Admiral tenancy] so the choice to bring him in-house was very straightforward. Tony’s familiarity with our culture and vision will ensure he will make a swift impression.

“From a licensee perspective, we’re delighted that Tony has joined us. It’s an enormous benefit to have front-line experience on the team, and importantly – as it does in the BDM role – will help cement the recruitment and training function’s credibility with new Admiral licensees, who may not have worked with us before.”

Tony, who with his partner, was licensee at The Griffin Inn, a food-led pub in Trevalyn, North Wales, was keen to develop his skills further with an industry role.  “I loved running the pub and love the industry, so saw a big opportunity to develop my career within it, at Admiral,” he explained. “I am really excited about the opportunity to help and advise other licensees, who may be new to the industry or new to Admiral, and believe I can genuinely make a difference to them. I have been there – in their shoes – so understand the issues and challenges, the training needs, and also the recruitment process from a licensee perspective.”

In the role, Tony will be one of the first points of contact for any prospective licensee making an enquiry or attending an open day pub event.  He will work alongside BDMs helping licensee applicants on the journey from initial conversation through to pub selection – and signing an agreement with the community pub group.  He will also assist licensees with any training and development support they may require. 

Concluded Smith: “We believe it’s crucially important to have licensee experience among our colleagues who work in support roles at Admiral Taverns – be it as a BDM in our pubs with our licensees, or at our support centre in Chester.  Bringing a former licensee into this sort of role is a real differentiator and I’m confident Tony will make a huge difference.

“We’re not sure if this is gamekeeper turned poacher or the other way around – but we’re delighted to welcome Tony to the team!”



Couple convert lounge into pub

by admin 4/7/2015 10:39:00 AM

A couple from Barnstaple have made the walk to their local enviably short, after converting their living room into a replica pub.

Simon and Donna Randall have spent years collecting glassware, furniture, games and other pub memorabilia. Their living room is now home to beer on draught, a range of spirits, a pool table and a dartboard. Drinks are even served in glasses which match each beer.

Simon said: “We do have a lot of fun, it's as simple as that and it's something that we both share a bit of a passion in for collecting the stuff, be it boot sales or charity shops. We share the passion and we both created it.”

‘Randall's Tavern' is not just for the couple to enjoy, as they designed it with their friends and family in mind, and are always entertaining.


Pub entertainment deregulation comes into force

by admin 4/7/2015 10:38:00 AM

Red tape has been cut for pubs wanting to host live music and community events following changes that came into force on 6 April under the Licensing Act.

On-licensed premises which are authorised and open for the sale of alcohol do not require a licence for live amplified music for audiences up to 500 people (a 300 person increase) until 11:00pm. This includes gardens and terraces if they are included in the licensed premises.

Live-music related conditions do not apply unless they are re-imposed at a Review. If a beer garden is not shown on the licensed plans then it’s likely to nevertheless be a workplace which benefits from a similar exemption. Karaoke is also considered live music. However, live unamplified music does not need a licence anywhere and with no audience limit between 8:00 to 23:00.


Pub raises £500 for counselling charity

by admin 4/6/2015 10:37:00 AM

The Three Crowns in Bushley recently hosted its weekly quiz night and raised £500 for charity, Signpost Counselling.

Signpost Counselling offers free, confidential support to children from ten-years-old to 25-year-old adults across Watford and the neighbouring boroughs.

Michael Duffy, landlord of the pub, said: "Our quiz nights have now topped £61,000 in donations to a variety of local and national charities and it makes me feel good to see the looks of pride on our regulars’ faces when we hand over cheques like this.
"The previous week, we raised £300, which was donated to the Nic Cruwys Fund."


Prince Charles to name pub after Camilla

by admin 4/1/2015 11:00:00 AM

The Prince of Wales has requested that a pub being built in his Dorset village be named after his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Poundbury – on the outskirts of Dorchester – is built on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

Work on the village began in 1993, built according the architectural ideas of Prince Charles, and it is now home to 2,500 people and 170 businesses.

Building is currently in progress for a new pub with the Prince requesting that it be named after his wife Camilla, as reported by the BBC. The 20-room inn is located in Poundbury’s equally royal Queen Mother Square.

The Duchess of Cornwall Inn, as it is expected to be called, is due to open in early 2016.


Licensees that are convicted for showing Sky Sports matches illegally will now be subject to an unlimited fine.

by admin 3/31/2015 11:03:00 AM

The Government has boosted funding available for community groups looking to take over local assets – including pubs – to the tune of £200,000.

As part of the first ever Community Pubs Day, which saw new ‘community asset certificates’ made available to every pub listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), ministers have allocated new money for the Community Shares Unit.

The unit supports people coming together and using community shares to start up or save local assets.

More than £50m has been invested by communities in the past year, and the Government estimates this year will see 150 new community-owned enterprises.


Sky Sports offenders face unlimited fines

by admin 3/31/2015 11:02:00 AM

Licensees that are convicted for showing Sky Sports matches illegally will now be subject to an unlimited fine.

Prior to the change to the law, the penalty for such an offence was capped at £5,000 (per offence).

The change, outlined in the revised Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, applies to any offences committed from 12 March 2015.

Alison Dolan, deputy managing director at Sky Business, said: “This change to the law demonstrates how seriously licensees should take the issue of illegally showing Sky Sports in their premises.

“In addition to the risk of being subject to an unlimited fine for the offences they commit, or each match that they show, the court can order legal costs to be paid and there is a requirement to inform the local licensing authority of the criminal offence, which can impact their license.”