Pub is the Hub helps village site open community cafe

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Property: This week's round-up features Robinsons, Pub is the Hub, Hydes, Star and more
Property: This week's round-up features Robinsons, Pub is the Hub, Hydes, Star and more

Related tags Property

This week's property round-up includes investments from Robinsons, Pub is the Hub, Hydes, Star and more.

Pub is the Hub helps village pub open community café


The Fishers Arms in Horncliffe, near Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland has opened a community café to bring local people and groups together in a bid to combat loneliness.

Funding from the Community Services grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs diversify their services to support rural communities, was provided to help to set up the café. 

This comes as earlier this month Pub is the Hub accepted a donation from his majesty King Charles III​.

Pub is the Hub regional advisor Nigel Williams said: “This is a pub that is at the heart of its local area.

“This brilliant community café has already proved to be a lifeline for those living in this isolated rural area that has already lost so much of its local services.” 

After the village, which has few public transport services, lost its shop, post office, school and church, the pub, which dates back to 1760 and was saved from closure by the community in 2022, is its last remaining amenity.

The area also has a higher-than-average number of both over-65s and unpaid carers, who have benefitted from having somewhere to meet and socialise.

Pubs committee member Moira Kay added: “The community has really rallied round to support the opening of the pub and the café.

“The café is providing an important space where people can get together for a chat or take part in an activity, which helps to connect them with others and can help people who might feel isolated or lonely.”

Publicans Kasia Kozik and John Graham took over the pub in March 2024 and have ensured the café, which is popular with tourists and walkers as well as locals, serves a range of homemade cakes, scones, coffees and teas. 

Kozik said: “It is so important this pub serves everyone in the local area. The community café offers a safe, relaxed space where groups and individual people can meet. It is a great place for people to come together.” 

Robinsons announces six-figure investment plan 


Robinsons Brewery has revealed plans to invest a six-figure sum into its pub estate.

The Manchester-based sixth generation family brewer said it would be “significantly increasing” its investment spend alongside its business partners, supporting nine sites in the first three months of the 2024.

With £1.6m of the spend being in the pub partner estate, Robinsons, which has a production output of 35,000 barrels and operates 250 pubs, said the numbers represented “a three-fold increase” on 2023 levels.

In total £2.3m was spent, including three managed investments, meaning an average of just under £200K per pub, keeping the brewery on track to support around 10% of its pub estate each year.

Robinson director of property John Riley told the Morning Advertiser (MA): “We have over a year’s worth of investments in the pipeline and we’re already working on our 2025 investment programme. 

“We’ve also got several projects in planning and on site including a large investment at the Bridge End in Llangollen which is undergoing a complete refurbishment of trade areas and bedrooms.”

The firm added the investment signalled “more long-term post pandemic confidence” by the brewery and its business partners.

Robinsons pub division director William Robinson added: "Our overall investment plan has not changed but what we are seeing this year is a significant increase in spend alongside our business partners.

“The significant increase reflects our dedication to nurturing and developing long-term partnerships and ensuring each of our pubs can be the best in the community it serves.

“We have a promising investment plan for Q2 of 2024 and look forward to announcing further updates towards the end of June.”

South-west multiple operator takes on second star lease


A south-west multiple operator has taken on his second lease with Star Pubs & Bars, taking the total number of pubs in his portfolio to five.

Sam Gregory has taken the reigns at the Rose of Denmark pub in Hotwells Bristol, with a £405,000 joint investment by the operator and pubco to be made in order to carry out a "major upgrade" throughout the site. 

The Rose of Denmark, which has been closed since February, is set to re-open at the end of July with a pop-up kitchen offering a three-monthly change of food style - such as Korean, Mexican or burgers, while morning coffee and baked goods will also be introduced and plans to put on regular entertainment such as live music, quiz nights and televised sports also underway. 

Star business development manager Gavin Perkins said: “The refurbishment of the Rose of Denmark is great news for Hotwells. Its pop-up food and coffee and pastries together with offering live sports in a premium pub brings something new to the area.

“Prior to Sam taking it on, the pub had been run by temporary managers. It will benefit the community enormously having a long-term licensee, particularly one of Sam’s calibre.”

Gregory, who also runs the Sugar Loaf in Easton with Star as well as freehold pubs the Bank Tavern in Bristol City Centre, the Bell in Stokes Croft and the Crown in St Judes, said the plans for the pub had been made after "research into the area and what the community wanted" had been conducted. 

He continued: “It’s very important when we identify a pub that we see potential in an area that is not being served. We don’t have a business model that’s based on replication, there’s no point in establishing a trendy wine bar if there is no interest.

"Avoiding the one-size-fits all approach means we’re better able to ride out turbulent times as we ensure the community support us. The pub market is tough but in my experience, as long as you’re authentic and have a solid offering people will respond.

“The biggest challenge we face is recruitment. Hospitality isn’t seen as a profession in the UK and so doesn’t attract people, yet the role of pub manager is complex and requires lots of skills."

Hydes reopens Chester pub with new look


Hydes Brewery has reopened The Mount Inn pub in Chester with a new look following a full internal and external refurbishment project.

Completed ahead of the forthcoming summer of sport including the Euros and the Paris Olympics, the renovations include an extensive exterior redecoration to feature a tiered multi-level beer garden with new decking and a terrace overlooking the River Dee, complete with new garden furniture, benches, planters and garden features.

The garden updates have doubled the pub’s outdoor capacity and a refresh of the venue’s front exterior has also been carried out.

Meanwhile, inside, the Mount Inn, which was acquired by Hydes in 2016, has also benefitted from a redecoration, with new furniture and TV screens, including an 80-inch television, as well as relocation of the toilets to allow for a more spacious seating area that has increased capacity by at least 30.  

This latest refurbishment project formed part of an ongoing investment programme across the Hydes’ estate over the next few years, with the firm having committed more than £10m to the initiative.

Hydes managing director Adam Mayers said: “The Mount Inn is a friendly, local pub, rich with character and typical of a Hydes pub.

“It’s a great pub to relax and enjoy a memorable pint whilst enjoying the views of the River Dee or Welsh mountains, or alternatively watching a match or listening to live music.

“We’re delighted to see the Mount Inn revitalised with an inviting new look and feel, but still retaining its distinct sense of heritage, which is important to us and all of our customers.

“Offering the best in fine ales, world lagers, great wines and a warm welcome combined with weekly live entertainment and all the live sporting action, there’s even more reasons to visit the Mount Inn now.”

Admiral procures 37 sites from Fuller's


Admiral Taverns has reached an agreement to purchase 37 pubs from Fuller’s Tenanted Inns Division for £18.3m

The cash sale proceeds for the portfolio, which generated £1.3m of profit before tax in the 52 weeks to 30 March 2024, is £18.3 million with a premium of £1.6 million to the gross asset value of £16.7 million.

In addition, the acquisition takes the Chester-based group’s number of pubs in the region to more than 300 and 1,420 in total across the country.

Meanwhile Fuller’s​​ detailed the proceeds from the sale would “further strengthen” the company’s balance sheet, enabling “additional investment” in its pubs as well as supporting future acquisition opportunities, as appropriate.

The disposal is anticipated to be complete on Tuesday 25 June 2024, leaving Fuller’s with 154 pubs within its Tenanted Division and 179 properties in its Managed Pubs and Hotels Division.

Read more here​.

Greene King opens second and third Nest Pubs


Greene King’s Pub Partners, the leased, tenanted and franchise arm of Greene King, has added a further two Nest pubs to its estate following its launch earlier this year.

The Highwood in Solihull and the Wellington in Bebington near Birkenhead both opened on Friday 24 May, joining the Palmer Tavern in Reading​​, which opened in March.

Each pub has received a £285,000 investment from Greene King Pub Partners to transform them into Nest Pubs​​, including new decorations, fixtures and fittings plus new bars, seating and more.

Outside, both pub’s signage and overall presentation have also been upgraded in line with the Nest Pubs look and feel.

Read more here​.

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