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Tue 11th Apr 2017 - Heineken to invest further £20m upgrading Star Pubs & Bars estate
Heineken to invest further £20m upgrading Star Pubs & Bars estate: Heineken is to invest a further £20m to upgrade its Star Pubs & Bars estate across the UK in 2017, taking its total expenditure on pubs to circa £100m during the past five years. The biggest winners in the 1,049-strong estate will be rural and suburban pubs, with about £10m earmarked to transform them into “great local pubs, introducing food and coffee, for the whole community to enjoy”. The company said 70% of the £20m would be spent on transformational projects of more than £100,000. In addition, nearly £3m would be spent on maintenance and repairs this year. The average transformational investment per pub is £162,000 and 780 jobs are expected to be created. Following investment, Heineken said 82% of Star Pubs & Bars sites would offer food and “quality coffee”. The company added that with competition for leisure spend increasing and growth of coffee shops, pubs needed to adapt to changing consumer demands. New research carried out by Populus on behalf of Heineken showed nearly a quarter (23%) of British adults visit their local pub once a week or more but pubs that fail to keep pace with evolving consumer demands have struggled. Two-thirds (62%) said they want their local to offer good food, a third (37%) look for a nice pub garden, a quarter (24%) would like free Wi-Fi, while a fifth (20%) want to have live sport on television. Heineken said by investing in new kitchens, changing the layout to include comfortable outside space, areas for events and cosier spots, as well as offering free Wi-Fi, its Star Pubs & Bars estate would continue to transform underperforming pubs into local hubs the whole community could enjoy. Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens 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. Two-thirds of Star pubs are in suburban or village locations. Residents in these areas are looking for the same choice and quality of drinks, good food and entertainment on their doorsteps as they get in city centres. Over the past five years we have invested circa £100m in transforming our pubs in hundreds of communities across the country. The continued investment creates pubs people want to use, benefiting local communities and creating local jobs.”

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