New pubco ‘doesn’t see the value in opening sites in London’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Back in the game: (l-r) Dan Shotton and Mark Draper have pumped £1.75m into the new venture
Back in the game: (l-r) Dan Shotton and Mark Draper have pumped £1.75m into the new venture
The co-founder of new pub company Prospect Pubs & Bars is aiming to open sites outside of the M25 because of high property prices in London.

Dan Shotton and business partner Mark Draper were also founders of Redcomb Pubs, which they sold to Young’s for £34m in January.

Their new business, Prospect Pubs & Bars opened with its first acquisition​ this month (June) – the Evenlode in Eynsham, Oxfordshire.

Better value

Shotton told The Morning Advertiser​: “At the moment, property values in London are right at the top of the curve. Not just freeholds but free-of-tie leases and tied leases are really expensive at the moment and we don't see getting good value out of those.

“It doesn't mean we won't ever take anything [in London] but currently there is better value to be had outside of London and hence we are looking outside the M25, at the Home Counties, southern England, down to the south coast.”

Shotton went on to explain why, after leaving the pub world in January when he and Draper sold Redcomb, they decided to get back in the game.

Big aspirations

He said: “It is never boring because you have fun doing this and we enjoy doing it. As much as it can be hideously stressful and painful at times, there's something in us, we just love running a business and being part of it all.

“We are not ready to sit back and retire. We love the challenge of everything that is in the pub and accommodation world.

“You make a lot of friends in this business and you feel like an outsider so it's great to be back into it, albeit on a small scale at the moment but with big aspirations. It's good to be back in the game as it were and do what we love doing.”

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