Water lure for pubcos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Million, Canal, Waterside pub partnership

by John Harrington Millions of pounds of public money could be on offer for pub companies willing to invest in canal and river-side properties....

by John Harrington Millions of pounds of public money could be on offer for pub companies willing to invest in canal and river-side properties. British Waterways (BW), the public company responsible for canals and rivers, is seeking private partners in a multi-million pound scheme to turn 60 of its waterside sites into high-quality pubs. BW said it expected the Waterside Pub Partnership ­ a joint venture including property and financial companies as well as pubcos ­ to invest about £50m over the first few years of the scheme. The proportion of private to public cash is negotiable. It is part of a long-term bid to rejuvenate Britain's waterways. James Froomberg, commercial director at BW, said it was a good time to invest in waterside pub properties, with £100m set to be spent improving and expanding Britain's canals and rivers in each of the next 10 years. "The waterside is going through a huge Renaissance at the moment," said Froomberg. "There are 10 million hungry and thirsty visitors each year [visiting Britain's waterways] and we want to double that over the next 10 years. We are offering partners the chance to be part of that supply." "We know pub operators are finding it hard to find good quality sites for development, and sites by the river are ones that people find particularly attractive." Paul Kinsey, former chief executive of First Leisure, said that investing in canal and river-side properties could make sound economic sense for pub companies. "People want more than just food and drink, and on long hot sunny days food-led pubs by canals do very well," he said. A canal-side location added 20% premium on the value of a property, claimed the BW.

Related topics: Other operators

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