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HospitalityUK CEO and whisky blender honoured by Queen

The boss of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls heads up the list of drinks industry figures who have been honoured by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours list, along with Whyte & Mackay whisky blender Richard Paterson.

Kate Nicholls of UK Hospitality believes more need to be done in order to protect the on-trade during the pandemic

Nichols was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for service to the hositality in particular her tireless support of the beleaguered hospitality industry during the ongoing Covid crisis.

Nicholls, who became Chief Executive Officer of UKHospitality in May 2018, has been been a key figure in highlighting the challenges and impact of Covid restrictions and regulations on the hospitality sector, providing a clear and concise voice to government over the past 12 months.

She said that while she was “personally thrilled and honoured” to receive the recognition, she also paid tribute to the entire UKH team for “their tireless work and campaigning throughout this year, continually highlighting to Government the specific challenges our sector faces.”

She said that the past year has been one of “continued despair and heartbreak for hard-pressed hospitality businesses”, who were hit both “first and hardest” by the pandemic. However she said there had been “countless” examples of “leadership, resilience and collaboration”, with people coming together to support their local communities, feed frontline NHS and key workers and support the homeless during an unprecedented year. “It is those values that make me proud to have represented and been part of such a wonderful sector for many years,” she said. 

She added that the team’s focus was to continue to press Government for additional financial support to enable businesses to survive through the winter and be in a position to reopen and welcome back customers.

Whyte and Mackay’s master blender Richard Cumming Paterson, who has been with the company for fifty years, was also appointed an OBE for services to the Scotch Whisky Industry. The whisky company said the accolade recognised his achievements as a key figure in the whiskty industry who has championed the craft and represented the sector around the world, as well as being a “custodian” of its whisky portfolio and creator of many of its iconic single malt releases.

Other members of the hospitality industry recognised with an OBE included Michelin-starred chef Fergus Henderson MBE, of St John on St John Street in London, and his wife, New Zealand-born chef, caterer and cookery writer, Margot Henderson, who was part of the team behind the Rochelle Canteen in Shoreditch, and caterers Arnold and Henderson.

Richard Curtis, the landlord of the Portsmouth Arms in Basingstoke was made a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for his services to charity. Last year Curtis raised over £52,500 for local charities by holding weekly virtual quizes in his pub after it was closed in March. He told the Basingstoke Gazette the aim was less to raise money and more to combat people’s loneliness during lockdown and retain a sense of community. He also made it into the Guiness World Book of Records in May by hosting the longest lasting quiz that lasted for over 34 hours.

Several retailers were recognised for their work during the Covid crisis, including Ocado’s CEO Melanie Jane Smith, who was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), along with CEO of Retail at the Co-op Group, Joanne Louise Whitfield. Asda’s online grocery’s Daniel Leonard Owens, the online grocery development manager, and senior programme manager Sarah Cairns, were made MBE and BEM’s respectively for services to retail customers during the Covid-19 Response.

Bidford Wholesales managing director Steven Clarke was also appointed an MBE for services to the vulnerable during Covid-19.

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