Pub business and drinks producer, Heineken, has announced a record investment of £50m to refurbish nearly 150 pubs across the UK, creating an estimated 1,200 hospitality jobs.
The investment programme will see everything from gardens, kitchens, bars, snugs and toilets given a bespoke refurbishment to fit each pub’s individual character. Every pub will benefit from Smart Dispense – an environmentally friendly cellar dispense technology, which saves CO2 and water for every pint of beer and cider served.
The investment programme aims to enhance the customer experience, generate better returns for licensees and ensure sustainable growth for each pub.
David Forde, managing director, Heineken UK, said: “We believe in the Great British pub. We’ve invested just shy of £200m in the last six years into hundreds of our Star Pubs and Bars businesses – all with bespoke refurbishments that respect the heritage of the buildings, keep the soul of the pub, and give a fresh and welcoming look for its locals.
“Pubs are the hubs of communities – they’re where people meet, chat and laugh, where we enjoy everything from pub quizzes to karaoke, from a quiet pint to a fabulous home cooked meal. Some would have you believe the pub is in danger. We are in the business to keep pubs open and thriving, providing a boost to the local community.”
The 200-year-old Extraordinary Hare pub in West Hendred near Oxford, is the latest to benefit from Heineken’s refurbishment programme. The pub had been boarded up for four years.
Following a half million-pound investment, the pub, which is the only one in the village, is now said to be thriving. The exterior was renovated, while original features such as fireplaces, exposed brickwork and timber restored and an all-weather garden were created. The re-opening also created 10 jobs for the community.
Licensee Kate Hayden said: “The Extraordinary Hare had been closed for so long that it had been forgotten by many people. There’s plenty of competition and expectations are high, so changes had to be eye-catching to put it back on the map. The response has been amazing. Residents are delighted to have their local back and are using it for all sorts of different occasions.”
Chief executive of the not-for-profit Pub is the Hub scheme, John Longden OBE, added: “With local shops and services closing in many parts of the country, pubs have an increasingly vital role to play as hubs of their communities. Heineken’s continued investment to ensure its pubs remain relevant to the residents they serve, is extremely welcome and positive news for all.”