Pubs and Bars

Marston’s to take over 156 Brains pubs, saving 1,300 jobs

Marston’s is set to take over the operations of 156 S.A Brains pubs in Wales, in a move that is expected to save 1,300 jobs.

The pub group will run the Brains pubs on a combination of leased and management contract arrangements, continuing to trade under the Brains brand to serve its beer.

Founded in 1882, Brains is Wales’ largest domestic pub chain and runs the heritage beer brand of the same name.

Welsh pubs, and the country’s wider hospitality sector, were forced to close on 19 December and 100 of Brains’ managed pubs have been closed since 4 December when a ban on serving alcohol across Wales came into effect.

Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston’s, said: “We have worked closely with the management team and the SA Brain family to collaborate on a mutually beneficial transaction that safeguards the future of Wales’ leading pub company, enabling these great pubs to have a stable and successful future, and securing 1,300 hospitality jobs in Wales.

“This transaction is entirely consistent with Marston’s long-term strategy as a focused pub operator and strengthens our representation in South and West Wales, whilst protecting the heritage and independence of an iconic Welsh business.”

He added: “These high quality pubs are a great fit with our existing estate and will benefit from Marston’s scale and operational expertise to further unlock their excellent long-term potential.

“We look forward to the pub teams joining us and to welcoming guests and the
communities which they serve, back into these pubs as the country emerges from the pandemic over the weeks and months ahead.”

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