Top national prize for village pub

Megan Jones (Heinz), with Neil France and Ann France (King's Arms) and
Daniel Woolfson (Publicans' Morning Advertiser).
Megan Jones (Heinz), with Neil France and Ann France (King's Arms) and Daniel Woolfson (Publicans' Morning Advertiser).
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The King’s Arms in Burton-in-Kendal has scooped top prize in Heinz’s Heartwarming Heroes national competition, which was searching the country for pubs and restaurants that go the extra mile.

Winners Ann and Neil France, licensees of the Thwaites-owned pub, will receive £10,000 prize money as well as £10,000 towards a community event, and have pledged to turn hundreds of children into lifesaving heroes with the prize money.

Ann said: “We couldn’t believe it when we were told we had won. Neil read out the email to me and I thought he was joking but we’re absolutely thrilled with the news.

“It’s a great honour for the pub and it will be great for the village. We’ve been overwhelmed with the support we’ve had from everyone and would like to thank all those involved.”

Ann and Neil are planning to spend the prize money on a community first aid day at thelocal primary school, teaching youngsters, their parents and teachers valuable lifesaving skills.

The day will include demonstrations, practical advice and take away materials to help keep the whole community safe.

They are currently contacting local organisations that may be interested in supporting the event, including the Air Ambulance and Community First Responders.

News that they had been named top community pub in the Heinz competition came as no surprise to Andrew Buchanan, Daniel Thwaites’ Director of Pub Operations, who said: “Ann and Neil have high standards in place and take pride in the pub as well as making a valuable contribution to the local community.

“Whenever I speak to them they are always at the heart of activity taking place in Burton-in-Kendal and willing to get involved in anything that brings the community together.

“Their friendly approach makes the King’s Arms welcoming for both locals and visitors alike and they deserve every success.”