Population (and density): 5,713,000 (1,100 people per square mile)
Largest towns and cities: Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton, Solihull, Stafford, Telford, Worcester, Burton-upon-Trent, Dudley, Nuneaton, Rugby, Tamworth, Shrewsbury, West Bromwich, Hereford, Kidderminster
What the experts say: “With the re-location of HSBC’s and HS2’s head offices, Birmingham is experiencing significant investment and the leisure market is poised to follow. Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and creative hub Digbeth have also enjoyed a renaissance, as has the business district, with independent innovative bar and food operators leading the march.
“Coventry was recently announced as the UK’s 2021 City Of Culture, a status that attracts investment and tourism. New World Trading Company plans to open a Botanist in early 2019, located in the new Cathedral Lanes scheme and the hotel and student accommodation sectors are experiencing a surge, which will no doubt attract further pub and bar operators.
“While traditional pubs thrive in densely populated areas, wet-led pubs situated in the shires continue to face the pressures of increasing overheads. These operations will have to continue to adapt to an ever-changing market place; not all can survive on selling beer alone and will need to diversify their offer.” - Simon Cable, associate, Fleurets
Fishermans Rest, Belper, Derbyshire
Wet:dry split: 95:5
Agent: Davey Co 0333 200 8788
This excellent freehouse opportunity is prominently sited on the edge of the Derbyshire market town of Belper. Comprehensively refurbished in 2015, the business has an impressive lounge bar with dining potential and superbly presented terrace and garden trading areas. The business currently trades 95% wet sales and, therefore, has huge scope for development of the food trade.
The Chequered Skipper, Ashton, Oundle, Northampshire
Tenure: Private free-of-tie lease
Turnover: £745,200 (inc VAT)
Wet:dry split: 43:57
Rent: £50,000 per annum
Landlord: Private freeholder
Agent: Guy Simmonds
Guy Simmonds has recently sold this business, which is located in the highly affluent picture-postcard east Northants village of Ashton. The estate-owned conservation village contains many thatched properties and is an area of natural beauty and a walker’s paradise all year-round. It is located in a part of the country that contains many affluent villages.
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