Harrogate awards night makes a splash celebrating ICG stars

A Majestic night in Harrogate celebrated another year of The Inn Collection Group Making People Happy in March as the north east pub company hosted the second edition of its annual awards in the historic Spa town.

Bringing more than 200 people together from its sites across the north of England and North Wales, the night saw 15 awards recognise everything from the efforts of individuals up to the overall performance of the group’s inns.

Proving to be the year of the coast, a third of the awards up for grabs were scooped up by sites serving the seaside, with The Tynemouth Castle Inn and The Stables in Whitby taking five wins from fifteen.

North Tyneside’s art deco icon triumphed in the young inn of the year category following a stellar start since launching in November 2023 and is the home of the assistant manager of the year, Alex Cockburn and one of the kitchen heroes of the year, Jen Malkin.

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The site has set new records for the group with Alex a key contributor to that success, being involved in all aspects of the site including set-up, team management and day-to-day operations.

Establishing Oswins Fish and Chip Shop and Cones Ice Cream as the place to go for tasty seaside treats, Jen was also recognised for her contribution to the commissioning of kitchens at two further high-profile openings, The Harrogate Inn and The Wateredge Inn at Ambleside.

Further down the north east coast, The Stables at Whitby was also rewarded for an impressive first year back from refurbishment, with Laura Wilson named general manager of the year and Andrew Pegg taking the head chef gong.

The Stables has been a strongly performing inn since its return from refurbishment in May 2023, with its kitchen in particular delighting guests over the year.


Appropriately for a coastal inn, its Fish and Chips have received particularly high praise with Andrew invited to be part of the town’s Fish and Ships festival in May after impressing organisers with the quality when they stopped by for a meal.

One of ICG’s initial forays into the Lake District, The Ambleside Inn was named Inn of the Year after posting some impressive results in 2023 and establishing a core team of its own, following a period where other colleagues were deployed during refurbishments.

The team at Ambleside are proving to be an engaged and settled cohort that is well-balanced and delivering results.

Elsewhere, awards were well shared, underlining the commitment across The Inn Collection Group to deliver the highest possible standards.

At The Pheasant Inn, Christine Black was named front-of-house hero of the year in recognition of her ability to build a winning rapport with guests while at The Seaburn Inn, Hanna Hope was the second Kitchen hero of the year.

A finalist in The Inn Collection Group’s young chef competition, Hanna held the fort at the Wearside inn over a busy Christmas when she took on the management of its busy kitchen.

Successfully defending her title from 2023’s awards, Marzena Rog was named Housekeeping Hero of the Year following another year of delivering exemplary room standards in the lake district and following its first full year as part of the collection The Wordsworth Hotel saw John Robert Kitching named Maintenance hero of the year.

A new award for 2024 acknowledged outstanding customer service within the estate with the Dean Court’s Frank Caulfield the man to pick up that award.

His charming engagement of guests on arrival and departure has been a feature at the Minster City site since 2014 during which time he has woven himself into the fabric of the property and prove invaluable in helping the hotel’s guests make the most of their stay.

Rising Stars in the kitchen and housekeeping departments were also named with Midland’s Edward Livingstone winning the sous chef title and The Bamburgh Castle Inn’s Ady Brannigan the head housekeeper award.

With the company rapidly expanding in recent years, its central support team were also recognised with reservations manager Dan Patterson named support hub manager of the year and Dean Palmer from the finance team awarded the hero of the year title.


A further 14 colleagues achieved long service milestones too, with 12 hitting the five-year service mark, whilst Gary Turner and Lynne Simpson both brought up a decade with the company.

Away from the regular categories, there was also a special award handed out to Louise Stewart, Anna Atkinson, Michael Coulthard and Dan Wallace on behalf of the group’s property team in recognition of a stellar year.

Delivering 11 refurbishments and keeping a now 30-strong estate in tip-top condition, the team faced challenging conditions but successfully kept numerous plates spinning and let their passion for literally growing the business shine through.

Enjoyed by all in attendance, the night was expertly hosted by the team at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate. The award ceremony was seamlessly delivered by the team from Storm AV, with their audio/visual solutions enhancing the evening’s proceedings.

They then switched to party mode, providing the night’s entertainment as Storm Band with a varied setlist keeping revellers dancing until midnight.


The Inn Collection Group Annual Awards 2024 – List of winners


Heroes of the year

Front of House – James Eccles, Lynne Simpson, Christine Black

Kitchen – Hanna Hope, Jen Malkin, Steve Oxley

Housekeeping – Kelly Dixon, Marzena Rog, Marie Wilson

Maintenance – Gary Cresswell, Miklos Wehli, John Robert Kitching

Support Hub – Jan Moffet, Grace Matthews, Dean Palmer

Customer Service – Donna Hastie, Gareth Davies, Frank Caulfield


Rising Stars of the Year

Assistant Manager Laura Agliam, Gareth Mitchell, Alex Cockburn

Sous Chef – Gaurav Chaube, Edward Livingstone, Emily Benton

Head Housekeeper – Ady Brannigan, Victoria Rate, Gillian Loughton


Of the Year

Head Chef of the Year Jonathan Jones, Andrew Sinclair, Andrew Pegg

Support Manager of the Year – Ashleigh Fenwick, Martyn Hepple, Dan Patterson

General Manager of the Year – Jason Milburn, Laura Wilson, Lewis Hegarty

Young Inn of the Year – The Stables, The Tynemouth Castle Inn, The Knaresborough Inn

CEO Special Recognition award – Andy Robson, Property Team, Sarah McIntosh

Inn of the Year – The Ambleside Inn, The Bull’s Head Inn, The Seaton Lane Inn