Beer giant to invest £20m in UK pub estate

Heineken has announced a £20m investment to transform pubs across the UK.

The funds will be used to upgrade Heineken’s Star Pubs & Bars estate, with around half the money earmarked for rural and suburban pubs.

Among the changes will be new kitchens, comfortable outdoor spaces and areas for events.

Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: “Vibrant pubs are an affordable, fun place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together.

“But as consumer demands have changed, pubs that struggled to keep pace have closed.

“We believe pubs run by skilled operators and backed by transformational investment can thrive in their role at the heart of communities.”

Some 70% of the funding will be spent on transformational projects over £100,000.

Star will also spend nearly £3m on maintenance and repairs this year.

Heineken’s decision follows research which found that 62% of pub goers want their local to offer good food, 37% look for a nice pub garden and 20% want to watch live sport on TV.

Over the past five years, the company has invested around £100m in transforming pubs across the country.

John Longden, chief executive of licensee advice organisation Pub Is the Hub, added: “Pubs are increasingly being recognised as important social hubs for communities, driving local economies and supporting local employment.

“Many communities are lacking investment so Heineken’s ongoing commitment to revive and refurbish their pubs in order to deliver the services and activities communities need, is very good news for everyone.”

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