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Wed 19th Mar 2014 - Breaking News - Exclusive: Downing and Faucet launch craft beer concept
Downing and Faucet Inn to launch craft beer concept: The Craft Beer Pub Co, a new joint venture between the Downing Pub EIS Fund and Faucet Inns, has completed the purchase of The Pensioners in Southampton. The site is to be reopened following a refurbishment and is expected to the first in a series of similar outlets located outside of the capital. Steve Cox, of Faucet Inns, said: “It is very exciting to be embarking on this new venture with Downing and is hopefully the first of many new openings to come. We will be showcasing a broad range of amazing craft beers and to compliment this we will focus on delivering an innovative vertical dining menu. Socialising, drinking great beer and grazing on fresh flavoursome food – ‘the best Britain has to offer’ – it doesn’t get better than that and is at the heart of what people and their communities want from their pubs.” Steven Kenee, head of the licensed leisure team at Downing, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Steve and the team at Faucet Inns. Both have an excellent reputation in the market and this is expected to be the start of a long and fruitful partnership. The addition of Faucet Inns to the Downing Pub EIS Fund family (alongside Pub People and Antic London) gives it the enviable position of being able to select the best opportunities from three high quality trusted operators. Lastly, but not least, as a keen beer drinker I’m very much looking forward to working my way through what is shaping up to be an extensive drinks list.” Propel has report that Downing invested circa £15.3m in the pub sector in 2013 – and would like to invest as much as £30m in the next 18 months. The majority of the investment was focused on buying freeholds in London managed by Antic London. The pub sector investments were: Augusta Pub Company (£4,780,000), Pabulum Pubs (£3,293,000), Pearce and Saunders (£2,800,000), Pub People Holdings (£1,911,000) Gregarious (£1,550,000) and Redmed nightclub and bar in Lincoln (£1,000,000). The current Downing Pub EIS has raised a total of £12.4m from investors. Kenee added: “As can be seen from last year’s numbers, Downing continues to be an active investor in the sector. We continue to raise further funds and are looking to place another £15m-£30m in the sector over the next 18 months. Whilst we are lucky enough to have relationships with some great operators.” Downing has launched 15 EIS products over the last five years, which in total have raised approximately £130 million, and has invested in over 50 pubs, located throughout the UK. Faucet Inns runs 22 pubs, mostly in London. It has also been working on a concept to launch in the Scandinavian market. At the start of this month Faucet re-opened a former Bramwell Pub Company site, The Oak Tree in Sevenoaks, Kent. Faucet described the new-look Oak Tree as a “thriving pub with a strong traditional, yet contemporary food offer, following the ‘Chop House’ tradition.”
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