Brewing giant Heineken has announced a £40 million investment in its Star Pubs & Bars estate with the aim of supporting the creation of 600 new jobs.
The Edinburgh-based pub, cider and beer business intends to use the funds to upgrade 570 of its UK-based pubs this year.
Heineken plans to prioritize neighborhood locals, who account for 70 percent of its 2,400 pubs, as consumer habits have shifted towards drinking closer to home during the cost-of-living crisis.
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The company will also support its pubs in achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
This investment is seen as a vote of confidence in the British local, which is expected to meet the growing demand for affordable entertainment.
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Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens told Business Live: “We know from previous economic downturns that when customers’ disposable income is squeezed, they look for an exceptional experience when they go out.
“A great ambience and attractive surroundings are key and contribute to the value for money that pubgoers seek.
“It’s more important than ever to invest during uncertain times like these, to keep pubs thriving and meeting the needs of their communities.
“The last three years have been tough for everyone.
“People want some light relief and to get together and enjoy themselves. Pubs are ideally placed to meet this demand, offering an affordable treat. Our investment is a vote of confidence in the great British local.”
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The investment is designed to keep pubs thriving and meeting the needs of their communities, especially during uncertain times.
Publican Ben Bronson told BusinessLive: “The Peacock had been closed for two years. So, there was delight all round when it reopened, especially as the refurbishment had been sympathetic.
“We’ve been really busy since reopening with former regulars who used to drink here 20 years ago returning as well as lots of new customers. Cask ale is especially popular.”
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Heineken is investing £1.77 million in its East Midlands premises, with additional funds of £135,000 from individual pub operators.
The Peacock in Nottingham, a historic pub frequented by DH Lawrence, has already benefited from a £247,000 upgrade and has reopened after a two-year closure, retaining many original features.
The company has identified five more pubs in the East Midlands for investment, which will create 39 new jobs.
The White Lion in Beeston is currently being refurbished to create two new pubs – The White Lion and Blackshale Bar & Kitchen.
The company is in talks with operators to upgrade The Salutation and The Pear Tree in Keyworth, The Major Oak in Arnold, and The Blacksmiths in Loughborough.
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