Ei Group pumps £1.7m into new Craft Union HQ

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Company boss: Craft Union operations director Frazer Grimbleby said people were at the forefront of the business
Company boss: Craft Union operations director Frazer Grimbleby said people were at the forefront of the business
The country’s biggest pub company, Ei Group, has invested £1.7m into a ‘pub support hub’ and headquarters for its Craft Union division.

The investment will be used to transform the Grade II-listed Wakefield & Barnsley Union Bank building on Westgate in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Following an extensive refurbishment, the building re-opened last week and is now home to a new Craft Union pub (the Union Bank) alongside training and meeting facilities as "support hub".

Ongoing commitment

The initiative will generate 20 jobs, and Ei Group said it further demonstrates its ongoing commitment to reinvigorating pubs in local communities after investing more than £350m in its estate over the past five years plus a further approximately £80m this financial year.

The opening of the site means Craft Union, Ei Group’s self-employed managed model, will now have a permanent base.

The Union Bank is Craft Union’s third pub in Wakefield, joining the Stratford Arms and the Raven. The company now has a nationwide estate of 330 sites under the Craft Union model which only launched in May 2015.

The concept was originally focused in the north west but now reaches across the UK with sites further south and south east.

Continued focus

It is aiming to build its pipeline to 400 sites over the next 12 months, with a continued focus on its wet-led only community pub proposition.

Craft Union Pub Company operations director Frazer Grimbleby said: “The group’s ethos is to invest in great quality pubs at the heart of local communities.

“The Pub Support Hub, which is home to the Union Bank pub, has been developed within a magnificent Grade II-listed historic building we have revitalised and restored to its former glory.

“Our people are the most important part of our business and this new facility gives them a base for the support and training they need to continually deliver exceptional experiences in our pubs.”

Related topics: Ei Group

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