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Pub Group Founder, Peter Borg-Neal, virtually honoured at industry awards



20 November 2020:

Independent, multi-site pub group, Oakman Inns, and their Founder and Chairman, Peter Borg-Neal, are no strangers to winning awards, in good times. However, winning two that have been voted for by your peers is bound to be a special moment. This week, the accolades were awarded at the virtual CGA Peach Hero & Icon Awards – which were hosted by the hospitality industry’s international data and insight consultancy, CGA.

Voted for by leaders across the entire spectrum of the hospitality industry - from operators of all sizes to suppliers including farmers, breweries and technology companies - Peter won both Communicator of The Year and Individual of The Year, a testimony to the work he has put into encouraging and driving both his company and the industry towards a sense of normality.

The 28-strong pub company has been recognised for their work in the communities their pubs and restaurants serve, and for their strong collaborative staff ethos that has helped develop and launch thousands of careers. They have been lauded for their popularity amongst a broad church of customers. Rarely, however, has an accolade meant quite so much to Peter.

He commented: “When the pandemic broke out, I was determined that we tried to communicate at every opportunity how safe an environment an Oakman Inn could be, and thus, across the industry so that the public would have confidence in relaxing in a sociable, pleasant environment. We helped advise The Cabinet Office and assisted them with the production of a number of communications on best practice and Covid-safe hospitality environments.

“However, we have also worked tirelessly to make the point that there never was and never has been any UK-based peer-reviewed scientific data to show that generically pubs, restaurants, or bars or, indeed, any part of the hospitality industry have been a leading source of transmissions of the virus. So, that award for communicating my passion to defend our extraordinary industry means so much to me, but really should be shared with the other nominees who have worked without a break to get our messages across - with a special mention for Hospitality Union’s Jonathan Downey.

“Watching the rest of the awards, I was totally unprepared when they announced I’d won the ‘Individual of The Year’ and that was a moment where I have to confess, I became quite emotional. I have been in the industry since I was a young man, and started right at the bottom simply believing that if I worked hard and stayed out of trouble, I might make something of a career from it. To receive this from my Peers is very humbling and a huge honour. Furthermore, it is recognition that should be shared with all of the Oakman team and especially our CEO, Dermot King, who is doing an amazing job in his new role.”

Peter, Dermot and the team are now busy planning the re-opening of their pubs on 3rd December, in time for Christmas. During Lockdown2, they have been creating safe and convivial ways for guests to eat ‘out’ at their pubs with larger gardens, and have installed enchanting, glazed igloos – or ‘OakPods’ – for groups of up to eight.

Peter said: “We are fortunate to own pubs with large outdoor spaces and the pandemic has forced us to think creatively to adapt to the changing situation. Our ‘OakPods’ provide a bio-secure and cosy environment and can be serviced remotely. We’ve been marketing them as a “Night Under the Stars”, because these magical “pods” provide such a great view of the night sky – and they are proving very popular.”


Photo of Peter Borg-Neal, Founder & Executive Chairman, Oakman Inns attached.

For further press information, further imagery and interviews, please contact Belinda Boyd at 20-20 PR on 01793 780780 / 07831 488777 or belindaboyd@2020pr.com.




About Us

About Oakman Inns (www.oakmaninns.co.uk/)

The company was founded by entrepreneur and its Executive Chairman, Peter Borg-Neal, in 2007.

The group comprises 28 distinctive all-day family-friendly establishments (eight of which offer boutique ensuite bedrooms) across Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Warwickshire and the West Midlands and employs nearly 1,000 people.

For a fifth year, the group is in the top 30 of the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For and is this year’s highest ranked company in the pub sector.

This year, for a second time, the company are recipients of The Princess Royal Training Award for their outstanding training and career development programmes.

In 2019, they won Best Multi-Site Operator and were Highly Commended for Best Employer at the 2019 Casual Dining Awards.


Belinda Boyd


Phone: 01793780780 Mobile: 07831488777