£2.9m allocated to East Midlands pubs in Heineken investment

The Ashford Arms in Ashford-in-the-Water, Derbyshire

Heineken UK is investing £39m to refurbish and reopen pubs within its Star Pubs estate in 2024, aiming to breathe new life into the British pub scene and generate over 1,000 new jobs.

Some £2.9m of the investment is allocated for pub upgrades in the East Midlands region, with additional contributions from licensees, expected to create 87 new jobs in the region.

Of the 2,400 pubs under Heineken’s control in the UK, 612 are scheduled for improvement nationwide, with 94 pubs set to undergo makeovers averaging £200,000 each.

The upgrades aim to modernise pubs into multifunctional spaces suitable for various occasions and events.

An example of this investment is seen in The Ashford Arms in Ashford-in-the-Water, Derbyshire, which underwent a £1.6m refurbishment. The transformed venue now features a premium country pub ambience and has created 50 new jobs.

Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs’ managing director, said: “People are looking for maximum value from visits to their local. They want great surroundings and food and drink as well as activities that give them an extra reason to go out, such as sports screenings and entertainment. Creating fantastic locals that can accommodate a range of occasions meets this need and helps pubs fulfil their role as vital third spaces where communities can come together.

“Pubs have proved their enduring appeal; after all the disruption of recent years, Star is on track to have the lowest number of long-term closed pubs since 2019. It’s a tribute to the drive and entrepreneurship of licensees and the importance of continued investment. We’ve spent more than £200m maintaining and upgrading our pubs over the last five years, and we’ll continue to invest to keep them open and thriving.

“Time and again we see the value consumers place on having a good local and how important it is to communities. Well-invested pubs run by great licensees are here to stay, but like all locals, need Government support to reduce the enormous tax burden they shoulder.”