Shepherd Neame acquires three freehold pubs

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Estate expansion: Shepherd Neame's Jonathon Swaine
Estate expansion: Shepherd Neame's Jonathon Swaine

Related tags Property Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office Freehouse

Kent-based brewer and multiple pub operator Shepherd Neame has expanded its estate with a triple acquisition of sites in Essex.

The company’s portfolio of pubs and hotels has now reached 303 across Kent, London and the south-east after the addition of the Bellhouse in Leigh-on-Sea, the Exchange in Southend-on-Sea and the Hamlet Court in Westcliff-on-Sea. This follows the business’s acquisition of Urban Reef in Bournemouth earlier this in July.

All three pubs are freeholds and were part of the East Anglia Pub Company estate.

Looking to grow

Shepherd Neame managing director of pubs Jonathon Swaine said: “Following the strong company performance revealed in our latest trading update at the end of June, we have been actively looking for opportunities to grow and develop our high-quality estate and are delighted to expand our presence in Essex with these unique properties.”

Built as a hunting lodge around the 16th century, the Bellhouse is said to be a large pub and restaurant steeped in original features and charm. Situated in Eastwood it has a large patio area and garden while customers can relax by the open fires during winter. Its menu offers contemporary and classic dishes.

The recently refurnished Exchange pub is in the heart of Southchurch Village and uses live music as a draw for customers. It operated as a bank before being developed into a pub in 2002 and makes use of the original bank vault as its beer cellar.

Characterful venues

Meanwhile, the Hamlet Court, located in the centre of Westcliff-on-Sea, is renowned as a live music venue, has recently been revamped and is close to the historic Palace Theatre meaning it is a popular destination for pre-show dinner and drinks.

Swaine added: “We are incredibly excited about the purchase of these unique, characterful venues. We look forward to working with the teams at each of the sites to build on their successful reputation and ensure that they continue to go from strength to strength.”

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