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Franca Knowles Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is chosen by a panel, led by Keith Knowles, CEO and founder of Beds & Bars. It identifies and recognises an individual working within the on-licensed retail sector who leads by example and demonstrates training and people are at the core of what they do, and is presented in honour of Franca Knowles, MBE, CBII.

Keith, Franca Knowles and their team, built Beds and Bars on a foundation of strong teambuilding, continuous investment in developing and training, and supporting people involved in the business. Keith and Franca have both inspired and led innovation within the hospitality sector, a fact that has been recognised in the Queen’s honours list.

In 2009, Franca was awarded an MBE for services to hospitality training, including her tireless work to develop the Footsteps Training programme which, almost 20 years on, is still an invaluable tool for small, independent companies.

Last year Keith was awarded an OBE for his contribution to communities and charities, which he said recognised the work of many people and paid tribute to the amazing staff who work at Beds and Bars.

Franca took pleasure in seeing young employees grow and thrive, maintaining that investment in people reaps benefits for everyone in a company and the industry as a whole. This caring and nurturing philosophy and legacy lives on in Beds & Bars today.