Punch to pump £33.5m in its estate over next 12 months

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Looking ahead: Punch CEO Clive Chesser has outlined the pubco’s spending plan
Looking ahead: Punch CEO Clive Chesser has outlined the pubco’s spending plan
Pubco Punch will invest £33.5m into its pubs over the next year, chief executive officer (CEO) Clive Chesser said.

He revealed this after campaigners protested against the closure of a Buckinghamshire pub,​ outside Punch’s head office in Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire.

The Rothschild Arms, in Aston Clinton, has been open since 1847 and is currently run by a local couple who live there with their children.

The pub hosts four darts teams, five pool teams, local scooter clubs, a football club and has been involved in supporting various charities. The locals have raised £15,000 so far to fight the decision to close the pub.

Significantly improving

Chesser said: “In the past 12 months, we have invested £33.5m in significantly improving 284 pubs across England, Scotland and Wales. We plan to repeat this level of investment again over the next 12 months.

“Some 40 of these pubs have been in the south-east and we plan to invest a further £8m in this region in 2020.”

This follows the news that more than half a billion pounds has been invested into UK pubs by several of the country’s largest pubcos.

With pubs vanishing from British high streets at a rate of knots and thousands of buildings that used to play host to bustling drinking scenes now merely boarded up and hollowed-out shells, the sector’s prospects can look bleak to those inside and outside of the trade.

Considerable investments

However, there have been considerable investments made into pub sites in the past 24 months, including huge cash injections this year.

Between three of the biggest pubcos – Star Pubs & Bars, Ei Group and Greene King – a combined total of around £595m capex investments have been made over the past 24 months.

Star invested £35m in its estate in 2019 by the end of July, with 99 pubs treated to major refurbishments as part of that expenditure. 

Fellow pubco Ei Group has invested £80m into its business each year for the past three financial years.

Another pub giant that has been keen to make investments in its core estate, despite turbulent market factors, is Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King. It spent a combined £356m in the previous financial years. 

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