Punch Holds Publican Of The Year Awards For Its Mercury Division North

Punch, one of the UK’s leading pub companies, has held its first Mercury Division Publican of the Year awards, at Moorhouse’s Brewery to celebrate the successes of its dedicated Publicans in the north of England and Wales.

The awards follow on from the East Midlands & South Yorkshire Publican of the Year Awards, held in February, and recognised Publicans in three categories; Special Recognition, Publican of the Year, and Overall Winners.

Special Recognition celebrated individuals that have made a tremendous effort since joining Punch, as well as Publicans that have been with Punch for a number of years. Publicans awarded in the Publican of the Year category were those who demonstrated a commitment to ensuring their pub is at the heart of the community, maintain exceptional standards and implement innovative marketing and merchandising initiatives.

Overall winners, Jayne and Christina from The Cotton Tree in Bollington were commended for their consistently high standards and their proactive approach to ensuring the pub is the hub of the community. For example at Christmas, The Cotton Tree sells and delivers Christmas trees to local residents, and holds regular competitions for customer, such as a marrow-growing contests.

The ceremony was attended by Punch representatives, including operations director for Mercury North, Tony Pilley, to celebrate the achievements of all winners on the night:

Overall winner

  • Jayne & Christina from The Cotton Tree, Bollington


  • Times Inn, Seaham – Steve and Sharon Cowburn
  • Alexandra Vaults, Saltburn-by-the-sea – Joanna Phelps
  • Brewery Tap, Bradford – Tony Good
  • Cotton Tree, Bollington– Jayne & Christina Blackshaw
  • Bulls Head, Warrington – Tim & Michelle Hines
  • Cock Inn, Shrewsbury – Matt Moulson & Natalie Varley
  • Highlander, Blaydon-on-Tyne – Joe Hogg


Special recognition

  • Isabella, Blyth – Paul and Kay Murdy
  • Britannia, Darlington – Louise Taylor & Amy Cooper
  • Star Inn, Halifax – Carol Vickers & David Whittaker
  • New Lamp, Hadfield – Giorgi & John Hadfield
  • Castle, Liverpool – Jimmy Fenlon
  • Griffin Inn, Wrexham – Jean Williams
  • Bulls Head, Milnthorpe – Jamie Brown


Tony Pilley, operations director for Mercury North, said: “Our Publicans put a lot of effort and hard work into their pub, their business and what some of them call their home. We have some fantastic pubs with great standards; something both Punch and our Publicans should be incredibly proud of. The awards were a fantastic success and it was great to see everybody enjoying themselves and mixing with other Publicans who they wouldn’t usually get the chance to meet. Our Publicans were honoured to have won awards, all of which were thoroughly deserved, and congratulations to our worthy overall winners Jayne and Christina from The Cotton Tree.”

Tony Good, Publican at Brewery Tap, said: “We had a great evening at the awards, and I’d really like to thank Punch for a wonderful night. It was my first event of the sort, and it gave us a brilliant opportunity to interact with other licensees and the Punch team. It is a great motivational tool and makes for an even stronger partnership between us and Punch.

“I have spent most of my business life doing things my own way, without support from anyone. However, the support from Punch has allowed me to use my 38 years business experience to develop my team and the pubs we run – it feels good to have this acknowledged at an awards evening.”