Star Pubs & Bars to Invest £1.7 Million In Its Estate In Scotland

2nd March 2014

Star Pubs & Bars, HEINEKEN's pub business, is to invest £1.7 million in its estate in Scotland in 2014. A quarter of the company's 150 pubs in Scotland are set to benefit from the programme.

In the next four months Star Pubs & Bars will be investing £677,000 on six major projects: The Criterion in St Andrews, The Spiders Web and The Royal Oak folk club in Edinburgh, The Helensburgh outside Glasgow, The Campbeltown in Dundee and The Kinloch in Carnoustie.

The development of food will be a common feature of the projects furthering the company's ambition that every pub in the estate will serve food and that it will account for 50% of sales by 2020. Wi-fi and superb coffee will be added at every major project site and HEINEKEN's new Smart Dispense system installed to maximise beer quality, providing the best in the country.
The two largest investments scheduled in the next quarter include:

The Spiders Web in Morrison Street in the central Edinburgh, which will benefit from a £465K refurbishment (£390k from Star Pubs & Bars and £75K from lessees, I@G Events), broadening its appeal and turning it from a drinkers' pub to a top end stylish food and drink establishment. Funds will be spent opening up the front of the pub and creating a kitchen offering excellent food.

The Kinloch in Carnoustie in Fife, will also benefit from a major £206K investment (£175k from Star Pubs & Bars and £31K from the lessees), opening up the bar/lounge area to create a larger dining space, recommissioning disused fireplaces and creating a rear decking area for Summer diners.

Iain Pert of I@G Events says: "The Spiders Web will be our second project with Star Pubs & Bars. Our first joint investment, McSorleys in Edinburgh, was finished in December. We added food and since reopening have increased turnover by 30%. We run a number of different pubs and bars of our own and welcome the investment from Star Pubs & Bars. We have a superb relationship with Heineken both with our free trade and Star Pubs & Bars' bars. They show a real commitment to working with us to create great pubs and bar. Together we're turning around underperforming sites into successful venues that people want to spend time in. It's a win, win situation – good for us, good for Heineken and good for the community at large."

Chris Jowsey, trading director, Star Pubs & Bars, says, "This investment is further evidence of our commitment to our pubs and to the strong track record of Star Pubs & Bars in attracting ambitious & forward thinking lessees who want to invest with us. Together we are developing great pubs and generating good returns for both parties. Consumers' expectations are increasing all the time and they are looking for a great experience whenever they go out; the pub's design, food and drink and service all have to be right. This is especially true when customers have less disposable income as they want real quality when they do spend their money.

"HEINEKEN is committed to the long-term future of the pub industry. Continued investment is essential to this, enabling us to meet and exceed customer expectations as well as to maintain the Star Pubs & Bars estate's premium positioning with great pubs and strong businesses which appeal to skilled operators."