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The Swan Salford recognised as worldclass in Best Companies awards

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The Swan Salford celebrates success in this year's Best Companies Awards

The owners of one of our favourite Milton Keynes venues has been recognised as a world-class employer in this year’s Best Companies awards.

Milton Keynes pub company Peach has officially been named one of best companies to work for in the country and been singled out as a top employer in its industry in this year’s Best Companies to Work for awards, announced on Friday 21st May 2021.  Peach raced up to number 24 in the league of the nation’s best companies, and received a Three Star Accreditation, highlighting it as world-class.

The independent business, which runs The Black Horse in Woburn and The Swan at Salford came away from Friday’s virtual awards ceremony with four fantastic wins under its belt.

As well as officially being one of the UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work For, Peach came sixth in the UK’s Top 20 Leisure & Hospitality Companies to Work For and was named the 9th best employer in the East of England, the 13th in the Midlands and the 20th in the South East where it was also the best in hospitality.

The Swan playing host to #lunchNbloggers

Out #lunchNbloggers team at The Swan Salford

Earning a place on a list as one of the UK’s Best Companies to Work For is an accolade like no other. It recognises a business’ commitment to its employees and shows that it sees workplace engagement as a vital part of its success.  Participation is partly by a team-wide survey that asks for honest feedback on areas an employer is strong in and those it needs to improve on, such as leadership, commitment to personal growth through training and development, well-being and giving something back.

Peach scored at the top of its class by proving its commitment to its people and how it supported its teams particularly during the pandemic and focussed on the mental wellbeing of its chefs, front of house and support teams who were furloughed. Peach launched Yourhub.pub1, a social enterprise that enabled its furloughed teams to keep busy cooking and delivering food to the NHS and a total of 50 charities and keep connected to their pubs’ communities.

At the same time, it looked after the team, creating new personal development plans for individual and personal development for every team member. It also launched a Peach Hardship Support Fund for those facing financial difficulty and worked with industry charity Hospitality Action to ensure no-one in the team was left behind.

The Swan Salford celebrates success in this year's Best Companies Awards

It’s the fifth year running that Peach has won a Best Company to Work For award, and a record year for the company, whose aim is to be the best gastropub company on the planet, as Peach Managing Director Hamish Stoddart explains.

“It’s our vision, we Make Life Peachy. Ever since we started Peach twenty years ago, we’ve genuinely put our people first.  We’ve always believed they are the heart of a pub and utterly central to our success.  Shared ownership and the longevity of our team prove this. This last year, during the pandemic, we knew it was more important than ever to take good care of the team especially when the pubs were closed and the team furloughed. It was the perfect opportunity to prove it, and we did.

A fresh start at The Swan, Salford

The amazing interior at The Swan Salford

“We worked incredibly hard to look after the physical and mental well-being of our people especially during lockdown.  We took the opportunity to reaffirm our support to our team, both financially and through keeping in close contact and volunteering together to support the towns we’re proud to be at the heart of.  We have come through together, staying true to our vision of being a great place to work, learn and grow. We are delighted to be recognised as a Three Star, world-class employer,” he said.

Peach took the opportunity to toast this year’s Best Companies success with its teams and guests in the pubs, which are now open for eating and drinking again inside, by raising a glass in celebration after the results were revealed on Friday.

Peach is aiming to grow by three or four pubs in the next year and is hiring right now. Please go to https://careers.makinglifepeachy.com/ to find out more.

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Putteridge Bury unveiled as 2022 wedding award winner

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The University of Bedfordshire’s stunning Putteridge Bury site has been awarded a national Hitched Wedding Award for 2022, cementing it as one of the finest event venues in the country.

Hitched, a nationally renowned wedding planning website, awards UK businesses such as venues, photographers, organisers and dress shops that have been highly rated and recommended by couples. Professionalism, quality of work, flexibility and customer service are all taken into account when deciding award-winners.

Putteridge Bury and its picturesque parkland is used for a wide variety of events, functions, and conferences, but it is for exceptional weddings that it has received this latest accolade. The only Bedfordshire-based venue to be granted a 2022 Hitched Award, it is evident that couples in the area have a place in their heart for this establishment.

Putteridge Bury unveiled as 2022 wedding award winner

The Grade II listed Elizabethan style manor house stands at the centre of the Estate and the perfect backdrop for every occasion. The breath-taking grounds were designed by foremost architect of the era Edwin L Lutyens and planted by Gertrude Jekyll. The west gardens include a beautiful oak tree that was planted by King George V in 1926 and an intimate walled garden – perfect for picture perfect moments.

Putteridge Bury unveiled as 2022 wedding award winner

Andrew Keen, General Manager at Putteridge Bury, is proud of his team’s efforts in earning the award. He said:

“It’s always an absolute pleasure to host weddings here at Putteridge Bury and we work hard to make couples’ days as unforgettable as possible, so it’s great to receive an award which is bested on the reviews and testimonials we have been given from those who have celebrated their special day here.

“The fact that we are the only venue in Bedfordshire to receive a Hitched Wedding Award for 2022 is incredibly exciting and feels like a deserved reward for our wonderful team that has made us stand out from the crowd.

“The recognition helps spur us on to another busy wedding season. After a challenging couple of years, we’re looking forward to hosting a full wedding season this year – it’s full steam ahead to some fantastic weddings and maybe even some more awards.”

Putteridge Bury Address

Hitchin Rd
Luton
LU2 8LE

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St Albans Business Improvement District secures second term

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Success for St Albans as St Albans BID secures second term

If you shop in St Albans or do business in St Albans, there is a high probability that you have come in contact with St Albans Improvement District (BID). From promoting things to do in St Albans on Valentine’s Day to supporting St Albans community projects, St Albans BID work with local businesses and residents to create a vibrant, thriving, sustainable and resilient St Albans city centre.

St Albans Business Improvement District (BID) will now operate for a second five-year term, following the announcement of the ballot result today with almost 70% of voting levy payers confirming a resounding YES for the BID’s ongoing work.  

The BID required the backing of a majority of the levy-payers taking part in the vote to achieve its second term. 66% of votes cast voted in favour of the BID Renewal Ballot by total number of businesses, and 73% of votes cast voted in favour of the BID by Rateable Value.

The ballot process was managed by Civica Electoral Services and results were announced by the Returning Officer today. The BID’s second term will focus on delivering the commitments made in the 22/27 Business Plan with its vision to support a commercial, vibrant, thriving, sustainable and resilient St Albans through a business-led programme.

St Albans Food & Drink Festival

Executive Manager of St Albans BID, Alison Berneye, says: 

“We are thrilled to have secured a second term so we can continue to work together, as a business community to ensure St Albans thrives as a premium destination to live, work and enjoy. The BID makes a measurable difference to our city centre, and we will work tirelessly to build a prosperous future for levy payers, working alongside our partners and communities to maximise opportunities and successes.”

Both a straight majority and a majority based on rateable values were required for the BID to succeed.

BID board member, Richard Latham said:

“We are delighted that St Albans BID has the support of the levy payers and will run for a second term. We will continue to work together to strengthen our local economy and build a resilient and thriving city centre. On behalf of the board, we’d like to thank all those that voted and for the unwavering passion and dedication of the BID team.”

The BID’s area includes St Peter’s St, the High Street, Chequer St and Holywell Hill.

BID board member Keith Newlan, owner of Kings Hill jewellers said:

“St Albans BID has supported our business community during unprecedented times. Post pandemic, St Albans has emerged a most attractive place to live, visit, invest and work, with big brand names and new independents choosing it as a business destination. Footfall that is above the national average will only continue to build on the economic success of the city.”

Businesses will continue to pay a BID levy of 1.8% of their rateable value. Those with rateable values of £12,000 or less will be exempt.

Lead Councillor for Business, Mandy McNeil said;

“A resounding yes from the levy payers proves that we really are stronger together. Thanks to the YES vote over 2.5m will be invested into city centre vibrancy and promoting St Albans.”

Sarah Hassan of local restaurant Bar Meze said:

“When the BID first came in, no one knew what it was or how it was going to benefit St Albans. But 5 years on, it has delivered so much for our city centre and having seen its successes, St Albans would be a different place without it. We voted ‘Yes’ and we are delighted that St Albans BID succeeded in winning a second term.” 

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The Swan and The Black Horse both receive award for sustainability

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Two local pubs, The Swan in Salford and The Black Horse in Woburn have been officially recognised for their actions to reduce their impact on climate change and help people to make more sustainable choices when eating out by being awarded a Three Star Food Made Good rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

The pubs and their owners Peach Pubs were given the accolade for the steps they have taken to be  better businesses and make a difference to people and the planet.  To achieve it, they worked with the Sustainable Restaurant Association to complete a detailed assessment of the sustainability of the businesses looking at 10 key areas.  These ranged from celebrating local and seasonal and sourcing fish responsibly to treating its people fairly and eliminating food waste.

When combined to provide an overall performance across three key pillars – Sourcing, Society and Environment – Peach and the pubs were given a total Food Made Good Rating of 73%, earning them a Three Star status.

This means that the pubs have been able to show that they are good restaurants with a score of 72% on Sourcing, 74% on Society and 72% on Environment, adding up to a consistently good  performance on all three key pillars.

The pubs’ focus on putting local and seasonal produce on their menus was highlighted by a score of 80%, while the way they look after the people who cook in their kitchens and run their bars and restaurant achieved 76%. Their efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle were recognised with a 76% score and the chefs’ hard work in eliminating food waste was rewarded with 72%.

Finally, everything the pubs do to support the community, especially during lockdown when they kept their teams busy doing voluntary work, cooking takeaways for local residents as well as preparing and delivering free meals to frontline NHS workers, was singled out with an impressive 84%.

“It’s fantastic news to be given a Three Star Food Made Good rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and doubly significant after what has been a year like no other for the hospitality industry,” says Frazer Sutherland, Peach Partner who looks after the pubs.

Two local pubs have been officially recognised for the positive steps they have been taking to reduce their impact on climate change by being awarded a Three Star Food Made Good rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Frazer Sutherland from Peach Pubs

“We are hugely proud that what we have been doing to be better businesses and put the planet first have been recognised in this way. It is tremendous encouragement from the Sustainable Restaurant Association and we shall be working with them over the year ahead to be even better and improve our scores in areas we need to.  In the meantime, we shall be celebrating this excellent news with our team and with our guests” he says.

Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Managing Director of the SRA, said, “By being the first pub business to complete the Food Made Good sustainability rating after the pandemic and additionally achieving Three Stars, Peach truly is demonstrating to its customers, staff and industry colleagues that it is 100% committed to serving up a better food future.”

The Swan Salford Address

2 Wavendon Road
Salford
Milton Keynes
MK17 8BD.

Tel: 01908 281008.
https://www.swansalford.co.uk/

The Black Horse Address

The Black Horse,
1 Bedford Street
Woburn
MK17 9QB.

Tel: 01525 290210
www.blackhorsewoburn.co.uk

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