Star Pubs & Bars is set to receive an investment windfall of £44m from owner Heineken in what marks the largest ever cash injection in its pubs.
The annual investment more than doubles the £20m that Heineken pumped into the business last year and takes the total it has spent on pubs during the past five years to £140m.
Around a quarter of Star’s 2,900 pubs will benefit from the investment programme, which includes 140 major CAPEX projects with an average spend of £170,000 per site.
The investments are tailored to ensure each pubs’ proposition is relevant to the community where it’s based, including offering excellent food, superior service and an enjoyable environment.
This investment will also create 1,000 new jobs, demonstrating the significant contribution pubs make to the UK economy.
David Forde, UK managing director of Heinekn, commented this morning: “We are passionate supporters of the Great British pub and believe that well-invested pubs run by skilled and motivated operators will continue to prosper. We believe that our commitment to investment, and understanding of consumer trends, will help our licensees’ businesses to keep growing and ensure that the Great British pub remains at the heart of British life for generations to come.”
A proportion of the investment has already been made in sites around the UK. The Coachman in Newcastle upon Tyne, for example, recently re-opened after a £550,000 project to bring it into the 21st century.
General manager Michael O’Rourke said: “The quality of the refurbishment is amazing. We were a bit worried it might be too modern, but people love it and say it’s exactly what the community has been crying out for. Although it’s mainly used by nearby residents, we’ve got customers coming from 10 miles away now. We’ve been told that it’s brought the community back together.”
The vast majority of Star’s 2,900 pubs are leased out to small businesses and entrepreneurs with a supply agreement. Around 100 pubs operate on its ‘Just Add Talent’ managed operator model.
The investment programme will include 140 major CAPEX projects with an average spend of £170,000 per site and a £3m upgrade of 110 of the company’s Just Add Talent pubs.