Heineken UK Injects Another £38m Into The Great British Pub

  • 700 pubs, almost a third of pubs in HEINEKEN UK’s Star Pubs & Bars estate, set to benefit
  • 500 jobs created
  • The 2021 investment brings HEINEKEN UK’s total investment in its estate since January 2020 to £73m
  • Programme builds on HEINEKEN UK’s £62m investment in rent reductions during the pandemic

Following the easing of lockdown restrictions last month, there’s good news for pubgoers as HEINEKEN-owned Star Pubs & Bars has announced a £38m programme to benefit 700 local pubs across England and Wales by the end of 2021. The move will create an estimated 500 new jobs.

Nearly 80 pubs will be completely transformed with major makeovers costing between £125,000 and £400,000 each. Every scheme will be bespoke and tailored to the pub and the community it serves.

As Britons travel less and many still work from home, the investment will focus on creating premium locals in suburban and high street locations within a 10-minute walk from residential areas.

The revamps will make the pubs more comfortable and stylish inside and improve beer gardens. Better quality food will be introduced – which is typically expected to account for 30% of sales – as well as good coffee and premium spirits, wines, lagers and ciders.

Lawson Mountstevens, Managing Director, Star Pubs & Bars, said: “Many people have rediscovered the joy of their neighbourhood pub between lockdowns over the last year, and are opting to stay local. This investment responds to that demand giving communities quality pubs on their doorsteps. We’ve spent £62million on rent cuts to keep our pubs afloat during the pandemic. The pandemic has shown the resilience of the great British pub and especially the leased and tenanted model. We’re committed to building on that support with refurbishments, so that pubs around the country thrive for the long term.”

A £165,000 investment at Ye Olde Hob Inn in Bamber Bridge, Lancashire is typical of Star Pubs & Bars’ refurbishment programme. It has put the pub on the map as a great quality, family-friendly local and created 10 new jobs. The work renovated the outside of the 17th-century pub, and the interior was also completely redecorated, bringing out its character and making it even more welcoming. A new 60-seater garden doubled the pub’s capacity, while a brand-new kitchen meant up to 80% more home cooked meals could be served.

The pub opened in February last year but due to lockdowns and the restrictions in the Northwest, was only able to open for five months in 2020 and four months this year.

Licensee Sarah Locke said: “People love the new look, and it’s bringing in all ages. Local residents who hadn’t been in for years, if ever, are now regulars, plus we’re attracting a lot more drive-by customers. We saw the impact of the refurbishment immediately. Sales trebled overnight when we reopened and have stayed at that level despite a lot of local competition, Covid restrictions and the overall impact of the pandemic, which we really felt in this area.”