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Ei Group to invest £1.4m in transforming Grade II listed bank

Pub operator, Ei Group has announced it is to invest £1.4m in an extensive refurbishment of a historic bank building in Wakefield, which will see it transformed into a craft pub.

The Wakefield and Barnsley Union Bank building on Westgate, due to open in May and will become a Craft Union pub, along with an office for a support team and a suite of training and meeting facilities for the use of the whole of the Ei Group.

Known as the pub support hub, this scheme will generate 20 jobs for the local area and add to the group’s investment of over £350m in its estate during the past five years.

Simon Townsend, CEO of the Ei Group, said: “The group’s ethos is to invest in great quality pubs at the heart of local communities; The Union Bank is a magnificent building that we’re very much looking forward to revitalising.

“Our people are the most important part of our business and this new space allows us to give them a base for the support and training they need to continually deliver exceptional customer experiences, share best practice and enhance their own personal development.”

The bank will be Craft Union’s third pub in Wakefield, joining the Strafford Arms and the Raven. Craft Union, part of Ei managed operations, has rapidly grown to a nationwide estate of 285 pubs, since launching in May 2015.

Frazer Grimbleby, Craft Union operations director, added: “We were determined to stay true to our Northern roots when finding a suitable new site for our Craft Union support team, which is currently located in Preston. We’re excited about the Craft Union support team working alongside our colleagues from the wider Ei Group above one of our flagship pubs.”

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