Brewery giant to invest £2.4m in West Midlands pubs

Brewing giant Heineken is to invest over £2.4m in its West Midlands pubs as part of plans to upgrade and reopen sites in its Star Pubs estate this year.

The brewer is investing £39m across the portfolio, creating 1,075 jobs. 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 £200k. Around 62 pubs will be brought back from the dead.

In the West Midlands, 87 jobs are expected to be generated through the £2.4m investment, which is backed by a further £232k from its licensees.

More than £200m has been invested in maintaining and upgrading Heineken pubs over the last five years says Star Pubs’ managing director, Lawson Mountstevens.

“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” said Mountstevens.

The Wildmoor Oak at Wildmoor near Bromsgrove is currently undergoing a £513k revamp to be completed this month, which will turn it into an independent gastro pub, generating 20 jobs.

The Talbot, Cheslyn Hay, Staffordshire is on the list for planned investment to reopen this year alongside The Bell in Shifnal, which is subject to recruitment.

One of the region’s pubs to have already benefitted from this facelift work is The Plough & Harrow, in Catshill near Bromsgrove.

A £316k programme included decorating the outside of the pub, a revamped beer garden with new furniture, lighting, a fire pit and a play area for children.

Building work has also been carried out on a major £400k transformation of the Plough Inn on Whitecross Road, Hereford, which created seven jobs.

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.

Furthering progress against Heineken’s ambition to be net zero across its entire value chain by 2040, substantial projects will feature energy efficiency measures, such as heating controls, insulation and low-energy lighting, that will typically cost £12.5k per pub and cut energy use by 15%.

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.”