London Town, the innovative pub company which is stemming the tide of pub closures in the UK, has come up with a new way to create hundreds of jobs out of pubs which it has not yet been able to re-open.
The company, which has a tenanted and managed estate as well as a managed services division, is planning to recruit an army of caretakers and concierges to look after closed pubs, until a decision can be taken about their future.
Following an intensive advertising campaign, it will create jobs for between 100 and 300 caretakers, watchmen and live-in concierges who will look after pubs across the country.
The exact number has not yet been confirmed since some people will look after multiple premises and the number of pubs closing remains fluid.
Darren Knipe, area manager for London Town, said that the positions would initially be offered to self-employed people and then permanent posts would be created, with "premium" caretakers eventually employing other people.
The initiative is the latest service which London Town has been able to offer to other pub companies and landlords, as well as making use in its own estate.
It follows a hugely successful campaign of pub re-openings where the company has invested heavily in identifying outlets which it believes have a viable future given the right management input and logistical support.
This campaign has helped to significantly slow the rate of pub closures across the UK. To date it has re-opened 160 pubs creating 850 jobs in the process.
London Town boss Billy Buchanan said: "Like the service of opening pubs that we offer we have found that we have a need for caretaking services within our own estate and felt that we should offer this service to the wider market.
"There is no reason why other pub companies and pub owners will not have similar needs and we hope that using one nominated supplier may assist them in their logistics. We are always looking for ways to help improve the health of the pub industry in Britain.
"This initiative is a realistic and cost effective alternative to the current strategy of boarding up pubs and leaving them empty. The costs of boarding are considerable and the damage the process can cause to the fabric of the building can be very disturbing.
"Insurance companies also usually want gas and electricity services to be disconnected in empty pubs for safety reasons and the cost of re-installing these services has to be taken into account as well."
Buchanan explained that some caretakers will stay overnight in the pubs, some will visit on a regular basis and some will adopt a live-in role where they will look after maintenance and services.
He said: "There will be no strict template for the jobs. The way our employees will carry out their duties will be as individual as the pubs themselves."