Needham Market: Rampant Horse wins regional round in Great British Pub Awards

A PUBLIC House in Suffolk which reopened earlier this year has been named as East Anglia’s “Best Turnaround Pub 2012”.

The Rampant Horse in Needham Market will now go head-to-head with four other regional winners for the national title at the Great British Pub Awards, taking place in London next month.

The pub, which dates from the 16th Century and reopened at the end of March, is now run by Alec Williamson, founder and managing director of lager brewer Calvors, which is based on his family’s farm at nearby Coddenham.

It specialises in locally sourced food and drink, including a full range of Calvors lagers alongside a regular rotation of real ales, including Woodforde’s Wherry Bitter.

Mr Williamson said: “We are thrilled to be recognised amongst the best in our industry and it’s a real testament to the team’s hard work and commitment.

“When we acquired the pub, we knew it would be a significant challenge to turn it around and it has proved to be a tough, but very rewarding, experience.

“The Rampant Horse has had an excellent first four months trading and we hope this award is just the start of our success,” added Mr Williamson.

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The Great British Pub Awards are organised by industry publication The Publican’s Morning Advertiser. Editor Rob Willock said: “The award recognises the pub that has demonstrated the best turnaround of business in the past 12 months. The Rampant Horse has done this to great effect and is a worthy winner.”

Last December, Calvors was selected as winner of THE ONE competition for 2011, a contest for high-potential growth-stage enterprises with a package of business support worth �50,000 as the prize.

It gave the company the chance to work with organisations including PR agency Voice Communications and brand and creative firm Zeal Design to develop his business over the following year.

Also contributing their services to the prize are the East Anglian Daily Times, business consultant Simon May, search engine optimisation specialist Climbing Trees Online Marketing, law firm Ellisons, accountants LB Group, leadership and management coaching from Faith Performance and call answering service MyRuby.

The Great British Pub Awards are to be held at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London, on September 13, when one of the category winners will be named as the overall Great British Pub of the Year.