Brakspear is investing £2 million in refurbishing two of its leased & tenanted pubs, after signing tenancy agreements with talented growing pub companies Little & Large and Friendship and Beer.

Little & Large Pub Company has signed its second Brakspear pub, The Leicester Arms in Penshurst, near Tonbridge. The growing pub company took on The Running Horses, at the foot of Box Hill, in early 2022, and has turned the pub, already a gem in the Brakspear L&T estate, into one of its brightest stars.  Brakspear is investing in a major refurbishment of The Leicester Arms later this month, with reopening scheduled for early 2024.

Another Surrey pub, The White Bear in Warlingham, was taken on by Friendship & Beer this summer. It is currently undergoing a complete makeover designed to create a more open space for drinking and dining and will reopen at the end of October.

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: “This is a serious investment in our L&T estate, and an indicator both of the potential we see in these pubs and the value we place on our partnerships with our tenants.

“We have many stunning pubs in beautiful locations across the south east, and The Leicester Arms and White Bear are fine examples, but they are only ever as good as the tenants who run them. Working with talented operators is key to our success, and we’re delighted to welcome Friendship and Beer, and to extend our relationship with Little & Large to a second pub.”

Little & Large and Friendship and Beer have signed turnover tenancy agreements, which means both the operators and Brakspear are invested in making the pubs a success. Little & Large co-founder Manu Bhatt says: “A turnover tenancy has worked well for us at The Running Horses; initially it gave us time to find our feet and as sales have grown, so has our rent to Brakspear. It’s a fair way of doing business and we’re pleased to have the same agreement at The Leicester Arms.

“Signing up for our second pub with Brakspear has been an aspiration for a while. I really like their approach and the flat structure that means I can talk direct to Tom at any time; you don’t get that kind of access at most pub companies.”

Friendship and Beer operations director Stuart Labram added: “The White Bear is a fantastic pub and once the redevelopment is complete we know it’ll fly. It’s been great working alongside Brakspear on the project; they have years of experience in refurbishing pubs, but they’ve also listened to what we want as the operators. That respect is key to a good landlord-tenant relationship, and a successful pub.”