Home Food & Drink House of Commons reception for three West Yorkshire pubs

House of Commons reception for three West Yorkshire pubs

Leeds Central Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, met with three ecstatic General Managers from West Yorkshire pubs at the House of Commons yesterday.

The managers had been invited by owners Stonegate Pub Company to attend a celebratory reception, in honour of being one of the first 100 managers, from a UK wide field, to complete their award winning management-training ‘Accelerator’ programme.

To mark the 100th graduate milestone, fifty MPs joined Stonegate’s senior executives at the prestigious setting to congratulate Leeds managers Philip Clay from the Dry Dock and Kerry Waud from the Royal Park; and Lindsay Thornton from the Warehouse Huddersfield.

The special guests were given a VIP tour of the House of Commons with MPs before the main event, hosted on the Terrace by Gavin Shuker MP.


Shining examples of how commitment in personal development can change people’s lives, the group have fast become some of the company’s most promising managers.

Launched in 2013, the Accelerator programme enables high-potential Deputy Managers to be ready to rise to the challenge of managing their own pub. Already, 104 graduates have progressed to General Manager, with a further five in Head Office roles.

Chief Executive Simon Longbottom and Chairman Ian Payne addressed guests, highlighting how their own careers and that of Commercial Director Suzanne Baker had begun in entry-level pub roles. Simon added:

“People are at the heart of everything we do. We are firmly committed to the principle that our people should be able to progress from the bar to the boardroom. We are delighted to able to recognise the achievements of our Accelerator graduates; reaching our 100th milestone is a really proud moment for Stonegate.

“It is also a fantastic opportunity to reinforce to MPs the vital role that our company and the wider pub and bar sector play in providing jobs and careers, with arguably the most realistic prospect of going from the bottom rung right to the very top.”

Jon Perkins, Success Coach for Stonegate, developed the Accelerator programme and said: “The programme develops both personal and business skills. Its uniqueness is in identifying personal motivators that inspire the skill and the will to succeed.”

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