Awards for innovation in training


Keith Knowles with the Beds & Bars team

Two of the industry’s leading lights were recognised with special awards this week at the 2016 National Innovation in Training Awards (NITA).

Organised by the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the 2016 Franca Knowles Live Your Life Award was launched last year in memory of Beds & Bars people director Franca Knowles. This year it was presented to Ian Payne, the Chairman of Stonegate Pub Company.

The award recognises an individual who has demonstrated a huge personal commitment to the people within their business, and was given to Ian Payne in recognition of his career-long commitment to investment in his people and the innovative and market-leading training programmes he has developed within Stonegate.

A new award for 2016, the NITAs Special Innovation Award, was also presented on the night to Keith Knowles, Franca’s husband and the CEO of Beds & Bars in recognition of him and his whole Beds & Bars team.

Presenting the award, Mike Clist, chief executive of the BII, said: “I am delighted to be able to recognise the personal contributions made by both Ian Payne and Keith Knowles in advancing the standard and quality of training for our whole industry. Both have shown what it can do for a business to have a leader who truly values investment in people and treats their team members – even those just starting out – as potential business leaders of the future.

“These are two very special awards for two very special industry leaders who have proved to the rest of us what can be achieved with a people-focussed culture and mind-set at the very top. Congratulations and thank you to both of them for their work in supporting careers in licensed retail and creating an empowered and ambitious workforce for the future.”

The awards were presented during a glittering ceremony at London’s Café de Paris hosted by sponsors SKY and presenter Hayley McQueen.

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