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Mon 1st Dec 2014 - Oakman takes GK site, M&B ex-marketer joins Harrison
Oakman Inns signs first Greene King lease: Oakman Inns & Restaurants has taken on its first Greene King lease, at the Navigation Inn at Cosgrove, overlooking the Grand Union canal just north of Milton Keynes. Both companies are making what they are calling a "substantial" joint investment to give the pub a complete and "sympathetic" refurbishment to all area, including re-building some parts. The Navigation is expected to re-open in spring 2015. Peter Borg-Neal, chief executive and founder of Oakman Inns, said: “We were looking for a new destination site and the Navigation is ideal. Canal-side, it is a fantastic location and will be a really excellent addition to our current mix of inns. Greene King has demonstrated its flexibility by agreeing to grant a 25-year lease and thereby enabling us to make a substantial capital investment. We believe this pub is bursting with potential and are excited by its prospects. It has been a very positive experience working with the Greene King team so far.” Clive Chesser, business unit director for Greene King Pub Partners, said: “At Greene King we actively seek to attract the best in the business. Oakman Inns’ enormously successful track record of running first-rate pubs is well respected in the industry and it is with a great deal of pride and pleasure that we enter this partnership.” Oakman now controls 12 pubs from Oxfordshire to Essex, with nine open and running and three, the Navigation, the Kings Head, Chipping Ongar and The White Hart, Ampthill, due to be open by next spring.

Former M&B marketing director joins Harrison:
Ian Dunstall, the former director of marketing at Mitchells & Butlers, has joined the leisure hospitality designer Harrison, the company that masterminding the development of the All Bar One brand for M&B. Dunstall is joining Harrison's new specialist brand strategy and development division, along with a former Diageo and Allied Domecq sales and marketing specialist, Steve Abbott. Harrison's managing director and founder, Philip Harrison, said: “We are not paying lip service to the strategic side of brand design, this is a serious investment in talent. Ian and Steve have both worked in the leisure hospitality sector for over 25 years, covering the development and marketing of brands such as Toby Carvery, Miller & Carter and Pizza Hut. Their experience is both extensive and international, covering over 30 markets on six continents. we are extremely pleased – and very fortunate – to be able to combine our very relevant and focused skills and knowledge and pass them onto our clients." Harrison employs 40 full-time designers, architects and project managers in offices in both the UK and the United States, handling clients including Nando’s, YO! Sushi, TGI Friday’s, Giraffe and Pizza Hut.

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