Multiple operator Yorkshire Pub Stuff Ltd is taking the lease on the Major Oak, Arnold, and embarking on a joint £325,000 investment with Star Pubs & Bars.
The Major Oak is Yorkshire Pub Stuff’s sixth long-term lease with Star and brings its estate to 32 pubs – 18 on permanent leases and 14 on temporary agreements.
The overhaul will turn the Major Oak into a high quality family-friendly local. The works will update and upgrade the Major Oak throughout with a warm, welcoming and contemporary decor. The layout of the large 1960s pub will be maximised to cater for all ages and multiple occasions.
The scheme at the Major Oak is Yorkshire Pub Stuff’s first joint refurbishment with a pub company. Says Garry Astle, Yorkshire Pub Stuff’s Managing Director: “In the past we’ve funded improvements to the pubs we lease. We have developed a close working relationship with Star and are excited to be building on that by investing together. It shares the costs and reduces our workload, as Star will oversee the project and do all the legwork with contractors. Their plans are spot on and will deliver a great range of income streams.”
Comments Mike Smith, Star Pubs & Bars’ investment manager: “Yorkshire Pub Stuff has an excellent track record for turning round underperforming pubs. We’re delighted to be investing with them to unlock the potential of the Major Oak.”
Formerly in the automotive industry, Astle has brought the Japanese Kaizen business approach to Yorkshire Pub Stuff: “It has helped us create a robust back-office system and a fantastic team, giving us the capacity and the ability to grow with confidence. This is crucial when taking pubs on temporary agreements, as it’s often with little notice; to do it successfully, your controls and your team have to be really strong.”
Continues Astle: “Running pubs on a temporary basis allows us to get to know them and identify those with potential that we want to take on permanent leases.”
Yorkshire Pub Stuff is eyeing further expansion across the Midlands, looking at leased pubs on both temporary and longer-term agreements. Whilst the company operates a wide spectrum of sites, including rural food-led pubs with letting rooms, it is most interested in wet-led community locals in which it specialises.