A WEST Somerset hospitality company has made it through to the final three of this year’s Somerset Business Awards in the New Business Award Category.

Pips Pubs, the team behind The Culbone, Exmoor’s highest inn, and Pips Fish in Minehead said they are delighted to have been recognised.

Managing director Mark Sanders said: “We are delighted that our commitment to the community and local producers has been recognised. “We love this beautiful part of the UK.”

The County Gazette-backed Somerset Business Awards are organised by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce to celebrate business success, raise the profile and encourage the growth of Somerset businesses.

This year, the ninth awards, saw the highest number of entries to date with applications from every corner of the county.

Bethan Baigent, one of the judges for the New Business of the Year category, said: “We are extremely impressed by Pips Pub’s passion, commitment to working with local produce, suppliers and the local community and their vision for growth in Somerset.

“The entrants this year were of an extremely high standard, with many exciting business ventures starting up.

“The Somerset Business Awards are about recognising and celebrating business success in Somerset so for Pips Pubs to even be shortlisted and then chosen as a finalist is a real achievement which they should be very proud of.”

Tony and Lesley O’Shaughnessey, owners of Pips Pubs, have plans to develop the group.

They said: “We have exciting growth plans with great opportunities for people who share our values.

“The Pips Pubs Group is named after our beloved West Highland Terrier Pippin and we plan to open more restaurants when the opportunity arises.”

The Somerset Business Awards Ceremony takes place on Thursday, October 24 in Yeovil, where all the winners will be announced.

Pips Pubs will be up against Staff Guardian and Wild Beer Co.