Amber Taverns to reach 170 sites with four openings

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Recent opening: the Railway in Caerphilly, south Wales, has a strong sports following
Recent opening: the Railway in Caerphilly, south Wales, has a strong sports following

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Amber Taverns will open pubs at four new locations in spring 2024.

The operator of freehold, community, wet-led pubs across the north of England, the Midlands, Wales and Scotland, has completed on sites in Derby, Bridgend, Airdrie and Motherwell.

Amber Taverns focuses on the hybrid operator-managed business model and all its pubs are entirely wet-led, serve pints for as little as £2.50 and have a sport bias with each pub screening Sky and TNT Sports plus live entertainment.

The pubco said all four sites will undergo extensive investment and refurbishment before reopening.

The Derby site was previously a JD Wetherspoon-operated Lloyds No1 Bar while the Bridgend, Wales; Airdrie and Motherwell, Scotland; sites are all former retail premises.

£4.5m investment

A total of £4.5m will be invested in the four locations, including freehold acquisition.

In addition, following a major refurbishment, Amber Taverns opened its seventh pub in south Wales on 4 December, in Caerphilly. The pub’s name has been restored to the Railway, which it has been historically called due to its proximity to the town’s train station and enjoys a sports following, in particular.

Work has also commenced at the company’s recently acquired site in Cleethorpes, north-east Lincolnshire. The new pub, which will be called the Old Vic, is located on the town’s former Foundry site. The site will reopen as a modern community pub in February with an extensive televised sports offer spanning Sky Sports, TNT Sports, Racing TV and Dazn, as well as beer garden.

In addition to ongoing organic investment in the existing estate, Amber said it is continuing to build an encouraging pipeline of good, new site opportunities in pursuit of its aim to add approximately 15 new pubs to its growing portfolio each year.

The company added it has achieved historic high returns in excess of 20% on new freehold acquisitions and has lots of target towns within its existing geography to expand.

Attractive opportunities

Current trade remains encouraging with like-for-likes sales ahead of the CGA Tracker and the company’s beer volumes continue to outperform the market, Amber said. Despite some wet and windy weather last week, pre-Christmas trading has been strong to date, which should augur well for the upcoming festive period.

Amber Taverns chief executive James Baer said: “We continue to see attractive opportunities in a variety of locations and the four new site acquisitions gets our 2024 expansion ambitions off to an encouraging start, taking the company’s total number of pubs to 170. It is noteworthy that all four are situated in locations where Amber isn’t yet represented.

“While we remain disciplined in our approach to acquisitions and the strict returns criteria we seek, we are confident that good-quality, well-invested pubs that provide their local communities with comfortable surroundings, reasonably priced drinks and a warm welcome, will continue to thrive and prosper.

“We take pride investing in these pubs and their communities, carrying out high-quality refurbishments that enable us to keep growing the business.”

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