The Ship at Worsborough Mill in Barnsley South Yorkshire

The Ship at Worsbrough is one of the pubs that has already benefitted from Heineken's investment commitment. Credit: via Star Pubs

Heineken commits £39m to upgrade pubs – and reopen a few

As part of the initiative, the beer giant will look to bring The Hesketh Tavern in Cheadle Hulme, The Black Bull in Ecclesfield, and The Junction in Wombwell back to life.

Heineken UK has agreed to invest £39m into its 2,400-strong Star Pubs estate this year. Of the £39m, £3.9m is set for pubs in the North, with £2.2m for the North West and £1.6m for Yorkshire.

Across the country, 612 pubs are set to benefit from the investment, which will include roughly £12,500 per pub for energy efficiency improvements. These include adding heating controls, improving insulation, and switching to low-energy lighting. Star Pubs estimates that these changes could cut energy use by 5%.

Other improvements will include the installation of what the company phrases as “subtle zoning”. Using dividing screens, sound systems, lighting, and furniture styling, Star Pubs will create areas geared towards different patrons so that sports fans need not bother those looking for a quiet bite to eat.

Also on the docket: changing up the location of tills to speed up the ordering process and installing new dispensing equipment to help deliver a perfect pint each time.

Star Pubs said that the North West work would create 98 jobs, while the Yorkshire one would generate 37 jobs.

In the North West, licensees are investing an additional £1m to sit atop the £2.2m figure. In Yorkshire, that figure is £90,000.

Already three Northern pubs have benefited from the Heineken upgrade commitment: The Whitakers Arms in Accrington, The Coach & Horses in Carlisle, and The Ship in Worsbrough.

The Ship reopened after four years in February, thanks to a £370,000 investment.

Rebecca Selly, licensee at The Ship, said: “The Ship needed a complete facelift to get customers back – a lick of paint wouldn’t have cut it. The smart new design has been key to converting residents into regulars.

“The Ship is proof of the need and demand for traditional locals,” she continued. It’s part of the town’s history. Everyone comes here, from families with children to retirees – it’s a social hub, especially for the neighbourhood’s senior citizens, many of whom sat at home alone before The Ship opened again.”

Building upon Selly’s words, Star Pubs’ managing director Lawson Mountstevens said: “People are looking for maximum value from visits to their local. They want great surroundings and food and drink as well as activities that give them an extra reason to go out, such as sports screenings and entertainment.

“Creating fantastic locals that can accommodate a range of occasions meets this need and helps pubs fulfill their role as vital third spaces where communities can come together,” he continued.

Mounstevens added later: We’ve spent more than £200m maintaining and upgrading our pubs over the last five years, and we’ll continue to invest to keep them open and thriving.

“Time and again we see the value consumers place on having a good local and how important it is to communities. Well-invested pubs run by great licensees are here to stay, but like all locals, need Government support to reduce the enormous tax burden they shoulder.”

Your Comments

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Champion! Good news at last … the drinks are on me.

By Anonymous

Isn’t this initiative regarded as a threat to the Briton’s Protection?

By Anonymous

Briton’s Protection is dead most of the time

By Anonymous

They can invest all they want but the public won’t pay £5+ a pint. This is the reason the pubs closed in the first place. Unless Heineken lower prices, this program will ultimately fail, unfortunately

By Bernard Fender

Excellent news re The Hesketh. Although it’s the rent that’s done that for in the past.

By Bobby D

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