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Kate Nicholls OBE to lead Institute of Licensing as New National Chair


Image credit: IoL

The Institute of Licensing (IoL) has officially announced the election of Kate Nicholls OBE as its new National Chair, commencing her role on 1 April 2024.


In addition, David Lucas steps into the role of Vice Chair, joining the ranks with existing Vice Chair, Gary Grant, effective immediately.

Nicholls, succeeding Daniel Davies, who has notably led the IoL since January 2015, is set to usher in a new era for the organisation. Davies is stepping down after an unprecedented nine-year tenure. His leadership saw the IoL's representation at critical forums, including House of Lords Select Committees, the introduction of additional member benefits, and the establishment of the LINK magazine, securing his legacy as a transformative and longest-serving Chair.


David Lucas, appointed as Vice Chair, brings a wealth of experience to his new role. As the Chair of the IoL’s East Midlands Region since 2008, Lucas has been integral to the IoL’s activities, collaborating closely with the team and supporting various stakeholder groups such as the National Licensing Forum and Local Alcohol Partnerships Group. His involvement extends to serving on the national Board of Best Bar None, being a member of the National Pubwatch Committee, and acting as a Consulting Editor of Paterson’s Licensing Acts.


Kate Nicholls, National Chair of the Institute of Licensing and Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Institute of Licensing as its National Chair and I’m looking forward to working with our members and wider stakeholders across the many facets of the licensing landscape.

“Having been involved in licensing matters for many years, I know how integral it is to hospitality businesses, and working towards excellence in this space is exactly the right goal.


“I’d like to thank Daniel for all his work over the past nine years and for his commitment to the Institute of Licensing. As its longest-serving Chair, he has left a clear legacy that I hope to build upon during my time as Chair.”


David Lucas, Vice Chair of the Institute of Licensing, said: “During my time with the Institute of Licensing, I have been able to meet a large number of members many of whom have become friends. I have also had the pleasure of working with my colleagues on the Board together with Sue and her incredible team. 


“I therefore regard it as an honour to be elected as a Vice-Chair of the Institute and would like to thank Emma McHugh for my nomination and the members of the Board for placing their trust in me. 


“We are all extremely grateful to Dan Davies for the tremendous contribution that he has made to the development of the Institute and wish him every success in his ongoing commitment to the regeneration of New Brighton. 


“I look forward to an exciting future under the guidance of our new Chair, Kate Nicholls OBE, and will continue to provide my support to Kate and all those who are dedicated to the growth of the Institute.”


Gary Grant, Vice Chair of the Institute of Licensing, said: “I am thrilled that Kate Nicholls OBE has agreed to take on the important role of Chair of the Institute of Licensing.


“Kate is a highly respected and well-known figure on the national stage with exceptional leadership, commercial and diplomacy skills. She has been a good friend and supporter of the Institute over many years and a regular speaker at our national conferences and events.


“The whole Board looks forward to working with Kate to progress the Institute further and faster towards its goal of ‘excellence in licensing’, partnership working and ensuring that all the voices of our wide membership are heard and amplified. 


“To be joined as Vice-Chair by David Lucas is extremely welcome. David has been an indefatigable stalwart of the Institute, and its Board, for many years and his efforts have rightly been recognised by the Institute in the recent past. His elevation to Vice-Chair is proper recognition of his essential and vital work. 


“I would like to pay tribute to Dan Davies’ remarkable tenure as our longest serving Chair over the past nine years. The Institute has grown leaps and bounds during his leadership as a result of his immense efforts, charisma, commercial nous, and leadership. We will remain forever grateful to Dan and he will always find a warm welcome at the Institute.”

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