A TORQUAY harbourside pub has been shortlisted to the finals of a prestigious national industry award for the 'superb' quality and variety of its entertainment.
The Apple and Parrot on The Strand is the only venue in the South West to have made it to the finals of the BT Sport Great British Pub Awards 2013 in the Best Entertainment Pub 2013 category.
"We are thrilled," said Mat Jarratt, area manager for the Lifestyle Group who owns the venue.
"The Apple and Parrot team and I made a commitment to not only put on fantastic live music but to really try and help local musicians to achieve the recognition their talent deserves – and it's working."
This ongoing process has involved a lot of hard work to transform the Apple and Parrot into a unique platform for musicians, 90 per cent of whom are from Devon.
"Our network is constantly growing," said Mat.
"We have managed to achieve working partnerships with studios, agencies, artist management and record labels, this allows us to potentially open doors to musicians that want to focus on their original music."
Rob Wilcock, editor of The Publican's Morning Advertiser, organiser of the awards, said: "The award recognises pubs for who a varied and successful range of entertainment, including live music, has added significantly to their business success. The atmosphere created by live music at the pub is superb and it is a worthy finalist of the award."
For Mat and the team however the work has only really just begun: "For us the achievement is two-fold: It is great to have the recognition for the hard work the whole team have put in; but also its an extra incentive to keep moving forward."
The Apple and Parrot has already begun work on several new projects designed to raise awareness of local musicians and is in talks to start providing festivals with performances from local talent.
Mat added: "I just want to extend an invitation to musicians across the South West, come in and see us, whether its gigs, help and advice or just an excuse to meet people passionate about what you do, we would love to hear from you."
The finalists for the Great British Pub Awards 2013 will be announced by actor and comedian Greg Davies at a special ceremony at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London on September 12 where the Apple and Parrot will have the chance to not only win their category but the overall Great British Pub of the Year award.