Heineken invests £39m in UK pub estate

Whitakers Arms, Accrington

Heineken UK is investing £39m in upgrading and reopening pubs across the UK in its Star Pubs’ estate in 2024, a move it claims will create an as many as 1,075 new jobs. 

Over £2.24m is allotted to pub investments in the North West with a further £1.04m invested by licensees. 98 local jobs will be created in the region on the back of the refurbishments.

A quarter (612) of Heineken UK’s 2,400 pubs are in line for improvement nationally, with 94 of these set for makeovers costing on average £200,000.

With working from home more commonplace and people looking to save on travel, major refurbishments will concentrate on transforming tired pubs in suburban areas into premium locals.

The revamps are designed to broaden each pub’s use and appeal, giving people additional reasons to visit. Subtle zoning will signpost pubgoers to the area likely to suit them best, enabling different groups of customers to simultaneously enjoy a variety of activities – from watching sports to dining – without disturbing each other.

Dividing screens and distinct changes to lighting, sound systems and furniture styles will help delineate the zones. The new designs will have a stylish classic feel, providing longevity. Reflecting customers’ increased expectations, the projects will be carried out to a high standard and will impact every part of the pubs, from the toilets to the gardens.

One North West pub that has benefited from the investment so far in 2024 is The Whitakers Arms in Accrington which reopened at the end of February following a £287,0000 refurbishment, creating 10 new jobs and including a 70-seater function room and a new kitchen allowing the pub to serve all-day food.