Publicans Richard and Caroline Binks have more than a little reason to feel proud as they are finalists for the third year running in the prestigious Great British Pub Awards.

It is a major feat for the couple, who have turned around the fortunes of The White Horse in Tilbrook, more than doubling its turnover since taking on the 18th century pub five years ago.

They had both worked in retail, but this was their first time in the pub industry.

Two years ago, The White Horse was named as the Best Community Pub in the region; last year it clinched the regional award for the Best Family Pub and now the pub has been acclaimed as the region's Best Partnership Pub.

The latter award is granted in recognition of the way in which the tenants of the pub work in partnership with their brewery to benefit their customers.

Mr Binks said: “Much of our success is due to the partnership working we enjoy with Charles Wells and the support they give us.

“We were involved in retail before so we had ideas of our own, but having the backing of the brewery and using the advice and help they had to give us has been invaluable.

“The brewery invested more than £70,000 in a new kitchen and helped us with our planning application for the permanent marquee that we have.

“We are passionate about what we do here. Our customers know that we are always here behind the bar, or mum and dad, Alan and Mary, who live and work with us.

“It is a model that works extremely well.”

Peter Wells, managing director at Charles Wells, said: “Richard and Caroline have worked tirelessly to ensure The White Horse is a great local pub at the heart of their community.

“It is an absolute pleasure working with Richard and we are thrilled his hard work has been formally recognised - we'll all be rooting for him in the finals on September 11.”