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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 2nd May 2017 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Anglian Country Inns seeks outside investment for first time to fund largest site so far: James Nye, managing director of Anglian Country Inns (ACI), the award-winning operator of gastro-pubs and restaurants, has told Propel the company is seeking outside investment for the first time to fund its largest venue so far. ACI operates seven venues split between north Norfolk and Hertfordshire. It is looking to add an eighth site, and fourth in Hertfordshire, with its scale prompting the company to open negotiations with potential outside investors – individuals rather than institutions – through a proposed Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). Nye said: “Up to this point, we are 100% investor-free. It’s entirely owned by the family, with some bank debt to support us. This next project is different to anything we’ve done before and, because it’s a large site and a very large spend, we’re looking to bring in some outside investment. We’re going to set up an SPV, with the potential that once it’s established, perhaps five years down the line, we either buy back the shares or the loan notes and incorporate the business back into ACI.” Regarding further expansion, Nye added: “What I don’t think we’ll be doing is rolling out five a year but we see further opportunities in both our trading areas. I get approached a lot. It’s easy to find new sites but hard to find the right sites. I see Cambridge and its outskirts as a real opportunity, anywhere close to larger towns and cities.” ACI, founded by Nye’s father Cliff in 1996, now employs 275 staff. So far, each acquisition has been funded from existing resources. Nye said: “It’s only in the past few years we’ve started motoring. Our growth rate was low and organic before that and then in the past five years we’ve doubled the business.” Turnover grew from £4.9m in the year to March 2012 to £10.4m in the year to March 2017. As part of expansion plans, ACI beefed up its head office team last year, adding a marketing department and central support team. Nye said: “It hurts financially to begin with but then you start to see the benefits.”

Industry News:

Host of operators sign up for Finance and Investment Conference: A host of operators and investors have signed up to attend the Propel Finance and Investment Conference. They include Brindisa Tapas Kitchens, The Yummy Collection, Wahaca, Buzzworks Holdings, Shepherd Neame, Chalk Valley, The Wright Brothers, Bone Daddies, Bath Pub Company, Risk Capital Partners, Business Growth Fund, Barclays Bank, My Lahore, Ei Group, Snug Bar, CBRE, Tamweel Capital, Bounce Ping Pong, We Are Bar, Arlo’s Restaurants, Inn Collection Group, Cambscuisine, Shanti Hospitality, Piano Works, Coaching Inn Group, Electric Star, Wells Group, Distinct Group, Vaulkhard Group, Knot Pretzel, Players Bars, Kheera Kitchen, and Relish Ventures. Speakers will include Tom Horbye, of the UK’s leading equity investment platform Seedrs, who will talk about which food and beverage companies have had considerable success raising capital. He will also provide insights on how to successfully raise capital on the crowdfunding platform. Stuart Lucas, co-founder and chief executive of Asset Match, will explain how private companies in the sector, including BrewDog, West Berkshire Brewery and Black Sheep Brewery, are creating liquidity for their shareholders through Asset Match. Jason Katz, co-founder of Kings Park Capital, which has investments in Abokado, Inn Collection, Fuel Juice Bars and 7Bone Burger Co among other leisure sector companies, will talk about how his company assesses investment opportunities and adds value to its portfolio companies. Click here to see the full programme. The full-day event takes place on Thursday, 11 May at One Moorgate Place, London EC2R 6EA. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers, while tickets for Propel Premium subscribers are £245 plus VAT. To book, email or call 01444 817691.

Inspirational Leadership Masterclass open for bookings: The Inspirational Leadership Masterclass is now open for bookings. Propel has partnered with the UK’s leading thinker and teacher on multi-site foodservice management Professor Chris Edger and Tony Hughes, cited by many current industry leaders as the most influential figure in their career, for the event. Edger and Hughes will draw on their book, eMotion – how leaders mobilise positive feelings in super-performing teams, to outline the “ten moments of emotional truth” of leadership that separate the best from the rest. The event takes place in the Chartered Accountants Hall at One Moorgate Place, London, on Thursday, 8 June and Edger and Hughes will explain their book’s key proposition – that focusing on mobilising positive emotions lies at the heart of inspirational leadership. Speakers will include Nick Miller, former chief executive of Meantime Brewery, will outline what he believes are the ten critical ways to inspire people to achieve extraordinary performance in good times and bad. Leading brands consultant Ian Dunstall will outline how inspirational leaders set up and evolve a brand that’s loved by both employees and guests. Click here to see the full speaker schedule. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers, while tickets for Propel Premium subscribers are £245 plus VAT. To book, email or call 01444 817691.

Boxpark chief – Deliveroo an opportunity not a threat as sector moves towards takeaway: Chief executive Roger Wade has told Propel the company will partner with Deliveroo at its Boxpark Croydon site rather than fight for trade in the London borough as he sees the future of restaurants as focusing on “smaller spaces with a dedicated takeaway offering”. He said Deliveroo had aspirations to launch in the borough but with Boxpark running “two-thirds of the restaurants in Croydon”, he viewed the situation as an “opportunity rather than a threat”. He also wants consumers to utilise the venue’s central dining area. He said: “From our perspective, Deliveroo is the fastest-growing delivery service in Europe. We know the guys well. I think what they do is a game changer and really suits our business model. When people want convenience you need to incorporate companies such as Deliveroo. We want to encourage people at Boxpark to grab some takeaway food and bring it to the central eating area. We see the future as increasingly about smaller units that are all about the kitchen with a takeaway counter and where people can eat outside or get a delivery. Deliveroo had aspirations to launch in Croydon and the reality is we run two-thirds of the restaurants in Croydon. We didn’t look at it as a threat – we looked at it as an opportunity. Because we’ve got such economies of scale and a major development, we can almost create our own restaurant quarter in Croydon. We’re trying to create the concept that if you eat out, you don’t have to decide among your group if you’re going to have Indian or Chinese food, you can have all of that and bring it back to a central space.” Last week, YO! Sushi launched a pop-up concept in two containers at Boxpark Croydon. Wade said: “It is the first YO! Sushi venue to not feature a conveyor belt and the company has taken the smallest unit it could have ever taken in any retail development. One of the units has half its square footage as a takeaway counter. People are reframing their models as dedicated to the kitchen area, and perhaps they know the majority of their business will come from takeaway?”

Hotels and restaurants see fall in trade as UK economic growth slows to 0.3%: Hotels and restaurants saw a fall in trade as UK economic growth slowed to 0.3% in the first quarter of 2017. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the services sector, which accounts for more than 80% of UK economic output, grew by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2017, compared with growth of 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016. The ONS reported the main contributor to the slowdown in services was the distribution, hotels and restaurants sector, which decreased by 0.5%, contributing negative 0.07 percentage points to quarter-on-quarter GDP growth. Economists had forecast growth to come in at 0.4% on a quarterly basis and 2.2% on an annualised basis. The annualised figure now stands at 2.1%. The economic slowdown follows 0.7% growth in the final quarter of 2016. The most recent data confirmed a trend of slowing economic growth amid tighter conditions for UK consumers, who are traditionally seen as the engine of the UK economy. Inflation has been rising since June 2016 following the pound’s fall on the result of the EU referendum. This has, in turn, pushed up the cost of imports and therefore prices.

Gordon Ramsay to launch debut Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, in Las Vegas: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is to launch a first Hell’s Kitchen restaurant – at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas. Unveiling plans on his Facebook page, Ramsay said the new restaurant was likely to open this winter based on his US television series of the same name. Ramsay already operates four restaurants in Las Vegas, with the Hell’s Kitchen deal extending his partnership with Caesars Entertainment. The 300-cover restaurant will feature indoor and patio dining and offer a daily themed brunch, dinner and bar menu. It will take its cue directly from the eponymous ITV Entertainment and Fox prime-time series and shine the spotlight on many of the cast and dishes featured on the show. Ramsay told Variety: “Fans of the show have been asking us to bring a Hell’s Kitchen restaurant to life since day one, so I’m thrilled to finally be doing it here at Caesars Palace. A key element of the show’s success has always been the diner’s experience so we are excited for guests in Las Vegas to feel like they, too, are part of the show – flames and all.”

Company News:

Redchurch Brewery launches £400,000 crowdfunding campaign to accelerate expansion: Redchurch Brewery, founded by lawyer turned brewer Gary Ward and television producer Tracey Cleland, has started a £400,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to accelerate expansion plans. The company is offering 7.41% equity and has so far raised £67,380 from 127 investors with 27 days remaining. The largest investment to date is £7,500. The pitch states: “Now in our sixth year of brewing, we have grown from humble origins in a railway arch in Bethnal Green to become a renowned craft brewer selling beer nationally into Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, bars, restaurants, and retail customers, as well as exporting our beers around the world. In January 2016 we completed a Crowdcube round, raising £500,000, well above our initial target of £200,000. We undertook a big expansion project by acquiring 13,500 square feet of industrial premises in Harlow, Essex, to house a new 30-barrel brewhouse, a fully automated bottling and labelling line, and a keg-filling line, while undertaking a rebranding exercise. We are now returning to Crowdcube to raise further investment to enable us to accelerate our ambitious plans and satisfy demand we’ve seen grow beyond our expectations. With the investment we raise during this round we intend to add further fermentation vessels to increase our production capacity to more than 1.3 million litres annually; invest in our packaging line to improve speed and efficiency, employ more brewers, delivery drivers and expand our stretched sales and logistics team; transform our warehouse space by adding a racking system; and add to our fleet of delivery vehicles. The quarter ending 31 December 2016 saw an increase in sales of 27% over the previous quarter, with revenues growing each quarter in this current calendar year. Revenue for March 2017 set a new record and this is forecast to rise to over £150,000 a month by June 2017.”

The Cornish Bakery reports like-for-likes up 8.8% as turnover nears £10m: Cornwall-based The Cornish Bakery has reported like-for-like sales grew 8.8% as turnover neared the £10m mark. The company saw turnover increase to £9,831,280 for the year ending 27 November 2016, compared with £8,209,675 the year before. Ebitda grew to £951,285, compared with £726,418 the previous year. Pre-tax profit was up to £324,101, compared with £206,961 the year before. The company stated: “Trading for the year has been exceptionally strong with like-for-like growth of 8.8%, which represents continual monthly like-for-like growth since June 2013. Four shops were opened during the period, which are all trading to expectations, and a further five are due to open by spring 2017 with further openings expected.” The Cornish Bakery has more than 30 sites across the UK, the majority of them in the south west.

New restaurant concept Arthur Hooper’s to open this week overlooking Borough Market: New restaurant concept Arthur Hooper’s will launch overlooking London’s Borough Market on Wednesday (3 May), featuring a designer jewel box interior and “wine wall”. The 51-cover restaurant in Stoney Street has been named after a Victorian fruit-seller who once lived at the previously derelict building. The menu, designed by chef Lale Oztek, will feature European small plates with ingredients sourced from market suppliers, including Neal’s Yard, Cannon & Cannon and Bread Ahead. Dishes will include mussels with nduja and turnip tops, and pork and fennel ragu fettuccine, alongside daily seasonal specials dependent on the best available produce. Liberty Wines has helped to curate a signature list for the wine wall that will feature more than 50 wines, including vintage specials. The rough jewel box interior has been designed by Buster + Punch creative director Massimo Minale, who has drawn inspiration from the neighbouring market. Oztek said: “I’m excited to bring my love and enthusiasm for food to such an iconic and historic destination.”

Butcombe Brewing Co appoints new project brewer: Brewer and operator Butcombe Brewing Co, owned by Liberation Group, has appointed Jayne Goater as its new project brewer. Goater, who has a Master of Science degree in brewing science and practice, joins from Molson Coors, where she worked on product and brewing process development. Butcombe recently rebranded to increase its appeal to the growing number of younger and female craft ale drinkers and Goater will influence the company’s beer to ensure it is popular with this market. She said: “There is a lot going on at Butcombe right now and it’s a very exciting time to join the business. I feel so fortunate I can earn a living making something I feel so passionate about. I hope to see a beer I have created and brewed on the bar soon.” Butcombe managing director Geraint Williams added: “Jayne brings an excellent technical background, accompanied by relentless energy and enthusiasm to our brewery. We’ve got a young, dynamic team at Butcombe supporting our expansion. We’re investing in Butcombe Brewing Co to ensure we have the best staff and facilities to drive our next phase of growth.”

Jamie Oliver completes acquisition of Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Australia: Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has completed the acquisition of Jamie’s Italian venues in Australia, receivers for the Keystone Group have announced. Receiver Morgan Kelly told Hospitality Magazine: “Management and operation of each of the Jamie’s Italian venues have now transferred to the new owners.” Oliver was granted extra time last week to finalise the acquisition of the six franchise-run restaurants following an urgent court hearing. The New South Wales Supreme Court was told if an extension of time was not granted, the Jamie’s companies, which are insolvent, would go into liquidation with the loss of more than 300 jobs. Administrator Katherine Barnet told the court both parties agreed to the sale on 31 December but there had been a delay in finalisation for a number of reasons, including the complexity of the transaction and negotiations with the respective landlords at each restaurant. Justice Fabian Gleeson agreed to a four-week extension and the deal has now been completed. Under the terms of the agreement with Jamie’s Italian International, all employees will be offered the same or similar jobs with the same terms and conditions. The Keystone Group was placed in receivership at the end of last year when it failed to renegotiate an A$80m loan with its financiers, the private equity group KKR and Olympus Capital. 

Dorset-based pizza restaurant Baffi to open sixth site, in Poole: Dorset-based pizza restaurant Baffi is to open its sixth site, this time in Poole. The company will open the venue in High Street at a former clothes store. It has been granted a premises licence by Poole Council, with the restaurant set to open in June. Baffi offers Neapolitan-style pizzas that are cooked for no longer than 90 seconds in wood-fired ovens. The company has restaurants in Southbourne, Westbourne, Canford Cliffs, and Ringwood while work is under way on a fifth site, in Portswood. Co-founder Tom Ellis told the Bournemouth Echo: “Baffi has been well received across our four sites in Dorset and Hampshire over the past couple of years and we have built a loyal customer base. Baffi is keen to expand into similar areas. Building work is under way at our fifth site in Portswood, Hampshire, and we anticipate opening the doors in about seven weeks. Poole High Street is next on the list, towards the end of June.”

London-based multi-site operator opens fourth site: London-based multi-site operator Andy Bird has opened his fourth site in the capital. Bird has relaunched the Dartmouth Arms pub in Dartmouth Park having agreed a free-of-tie lease with owner Faucet Inn. The end-of-terrace pub, which had been shut for two-and-a-half years, fronts York Rise and sits within the Dartmouth Park Conservation Area, which is east of Parliament Hill. The 2,267 square foot property, which is arranged over ground floor and basement, has a rent of £70,000 per annum. The pub serves local beers and has a Sunday roast offer, while all staff are paid the London Living Wage. Bird also owns Fanny Nelson’s and The Chesham Arms in Hackney and is co-owner of the Happiness Forgets in Hoxton. Faucet Inn managing director Steve Cox told the Camden New Journal: “I am pleased to see the business back open and looking so fantastic. I am sure Andy Bird and his team will do an amazing job re-establishing this business within the community.”

Bubble and squeak-inspired concept fails in £100,000 crowdfunding bid: Bubble and squeak-inspired concept Bubble&, which has operated at festivals and markets, has failed in its £100,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. The company, founded by Rupert Smith and Marita Lietz, was offering a 22.22% equity stake in return for the investment. The funds would have been used to open a permanent restaurant in Southsea, Hampshire. However, it failed to secure the investment it was looking for. A message from Crowdcube said: “Unfortunately, Bubble& did not reach its funding target before the closing date.” The pitch stated: “The investment will fund capital expenditure on the kitchen, bar, furniture, construction works and our pre-opening costs, which include professional fees such as lawyers, rent and costs during fit-out and architects. The plan is to expand the concept to have multiple restaurants in the south east and London, and become a nationally recognised brand. We will be aiming towards a five-to-ten-year sale/exit.”

Not-for-profit organisation Food for Soul to launch community kitchen in Earl’s Court next month: Food for Soul, the not-for-profit organisation founded by chef Massimo Bottura, is partnering with London-based food waste charity The Felix Project to open its first UK project, in Earl’s Court next month. The joint venture will see community kitchen Refettorio Felix open in the St Cuthbert’s Centre on Monday, 5 June replicating Food for Soul’s previous projects – in Milan at Expo 2015 and last year’s Rio Olympics. The community space will undergo a six-week makeover to serve meals created from surplus ingredients provided by The Felix Project. For 25 years, St Cuthbert’s has acted as a drop-in centre for vulnerable people, including rough sleepers and those with addiction and mental health issues, providing a subsidised lunch service, counselling, showers and clothes. Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s will provide an enhanced dining service, with monthly appearances by guest chefs including Claude Bosi, Monica Galetti and Oliver Peyton. Bottura said: “Chefs have risen to celebrity heights. I believe we can reflect these lights to illuminate the most pressing issues facing society today. Cooking is a call to act.”

Chef and author Stéphane Reynaud to open first restaurant outside Paris, in Shoreditch next week: French chef and cookery writer Stéphane Reynaud will open Tratra next week in Shoreditch, his third restaurant and first outside Paris. Tratra will be based in the basement at the Boundary Hotel, with a separate entrance in Redchurch Street, and will open on Wednesday, 10 May. The menu has been kept under wraps but Reynaud’s casual cuisine is largely inspired by recipes from the Ardèche region in France, where he spent his childhood. Having grown up in a family of pig farmers and butchers, Reynaud puts a large emphasis on meat and charcuterie. A chef for 25 years, Reynaud has written nine books, including best-sellers Ripalles, Terrine, Pork & Sons, and The Book of Tripe, selling more than one million books worldwide.

Jamie Rollo – Merlin Entertainments has scope to double planned number of hotel rooms, chief executive’s remuneration rises to £1.9m: Morgan Stanley leisure analyst Jamie Rollo has said Merlin Entertainments has scope to double the planned number of hotel rooms at its theme parks. Rollo said: “Themed hotels provide an immersive experiences for families and premium revenues to standard hotel offerings. Our work suggests Merlin is generating about £300 to £400 revenue per room per night for Legoland hotels, three to four times higher than comparable revpar. Adding hotels to theme parks also makes sense strategically – it increases visitor catchment area, revenue visibility, ancillary revenues, trading in shoulder periods, and guest satisfaction. Merlin said accommodation is 10% of group sales and guides to a 15% return on invested capital on new hotels. However, these figures exclude associated park ticket sales, and adjusting for this and looking at actual room rates being achieved we estimate it is generating a 30%-plus return on capital investment, implying hotels generate 20% of group Ebitda (though are not a separate division). The company currently has circa 3,600 rooms and seems ahead of its target to add 2,000 rooms by 2020. That will give it circa 5,400 rooms, but we see scope for that to double on its existing parks given it will only have 400 to 500 rooms per park versus peers double that (notwithstanding the various permissions needed to build hotels). Over the next five years we think hotel expansion could add 26% to group Ebitda, 5% annual growth in group Ebitda, more than the Midway or Legoland park divisions, both of which we think could circa 20% to group Ebitda. Adding it altogether gets to a bull case earnings per share of 50p by 2022, suggesting a £10 share price then, double current levels. We rate the shares ‘Overweight’.” Meanwhile, Merlin Entertainments chief executive Nick Varney saw his remuneration for 2016 jump to £1.925m compared with £733,000 the year before despite missing out on an annual bonus for the second year running, the company’s annual report has revealed. Varney’s remuneration for 2016 consisted of £583,000 salary, £21,000 in benefits, £1,193,000 in long-term incentive payments and £128,000 in pension. He was awarded a 1% pay rise in October taking his salary to £587,214 and received a further increase of 2.25% in April after the company decided to move its pay review to April instead of October.

Surrey-based premium cider-maker launches £180,000 crowdfunding campaign to create community orchard and bottling line: Surrey-based craft premium cider-maker The Garden Cider Company has launched a £180,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder to expand its range by creating a community orchard and bottling line. The company, founded by Ben and Will Filby, gets its apples from more than 3,000 members of the Chiddingfold community, who bring their windfall apples each year in exchange for a share of the cider produced. Flavours include original, raspberry and rhubarb, and plum and ginger. Funds raised will enable the team to plant and grow cider apple trees as well as eating apples that will be turned into apple juice, further expanding Garden Cider’s range. Apple juice requires chilling and pasteurising prior to bottling and the company plans to purchase the tank and equipment to make the premium juice that would also be offered in exchange for windfall apples as an alternative to cider. Ben Filby said: “We currently work with some Parent Teacher Associations in schools to gather apples from the community. In being able to offer apple juice we will be able to work directly with schools in educating children about food production, waste, provenance and the importance of nature’s role. Our farm will house about 3,000 trees, with three varieties of organic apples pollinated by our own bees. The last part of our project at Mill House Farm will be to restore the listed remains of 18th century Smock Mill. This will form the centrepiece of the farm and be open to the public and used as an educational resource for local schools and the wider community. The working windmill will not only be a living landmark but also a real statement about sustainability.”

Fork & Blade launches sustainable seafood concept Trawler Trash in Islington: Fork & Blade Group, the company behind The Black Penny Coffee House in Covent Garden and Mediterranean dining concept Firedog in Fitzrovia, has launched sustainable seafood concept Trawler Trash in Islington, north London. The 50-cover venue has opened in Upper Street on the site of former fish and chip shop Seafish, offering a weekly changing menu and cocktails. The “trash” in the title is because the restaurant focuses on fish often discarded by the industry such as pilchard, coley, sprat, grey mullet and crayfish. The venue has no freezers so only serves fish delivered that day, which means it isn’t open on Mondays, Hot Dinners reports. Trawler Trash retains a fish and chip shop feel but with polished concrete, exposed brick and an open kitchen. The cocktail bar to the rear seats a dozen people. The menu, by Fork & Blade executive chef George Notley, includes kipper carbonara with peas and rocket, and steamed mussels with cider, clotted cream, diced apples, parsley and hand-cut chips. Fork & Blade also operates boutique hotel brand Green Walnut.

Dirty Bones launches NYC apartment-inspired venue in Soho for fourth London site: US comfort food restaurant Dirty Bones has launched its fourth site in London, bringing its signature design style combined with old school hip-hop, soul and funk to Soho. The 1,600 square foot, 60-cover restaurant and bar in Denman Street takes its inspiration from the post-industrial-chic look championed by loft apartments in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The decor includes bespoke neon lighting fixtures, intentionally mismatched furniture, timber and concrete flooring, and an antique floor-to-ceiling bookcase. The Soho menu showcases dishes such as slow ‘n’ low pork belly ribs marinated in Dr Pepper and burnt onion and ale barbecue sauce, as well as an all-new rotating selection of grass-fed British rib-eye steaks. A selection of cold pressed juices and creative hot drinks are available alongside cocktails. Dirty Bones’ other sites are in Kensington, Carnaby and Shoreditch.

Lantana to open fourth London site, in Southwark: London-based cafe chain Lantana is to open its fourth site in the capital, this time in Southwark. The brand, which already has sites in Shoreditch, Camden and Fitzrovia, will open a venue at Thrale House in Southwark Street, on the edge of Borough Market. The 84-cover site consists of 3,313 square feet arranged over ground floor and basement. Lantana has signed a new 25-year lease at a rent of £65,000 per annum exclusive. The cafe will sit next to O’ver, the Italian street food restaurant that uses pure seawater as a chief ingredient. Rob Meadows, director of agents Davis Coffer Lyons, which acted for landlord Amazon Properties, told CoStar: “The Lantana concept has been pioneer of the Australian-run modern cafe scene in London, testament to the growth and proliferation of some exciting boutique coffee-led concepts in the sector of the market. There is a distinct and growing trend for these brands to offer a quality, all-day food menu, which can evolve to also capture evening trade.” Lantana was launched in 2008 by Shelagh Ryan, Michael Homan and Caitlin Ryan.

Restaurants and bars proposed as part of redevelopment of Tetley Brewery site in Leeds: Plans have been lodged for the redevelopment of the former Tetley Brewery site in Leeds. A mixed-use scheme with capacity to support about 6,500 jobs is envisaged featuring landmark buildings, hotels, homes, shops, restaurants and offices alongside a new city park. The application by Vastint Leeds includes 161,500 square feet of shops, restaurants, bars and takeaways, as well as two hotels with a total of 400 bedrooms. The scheme also includes up to 850 homes and 915,000 square feet of business space, reports Insider Media. At its height in the 1960s, the brewery employed 1,000 workers and was the world’s largest producer of cask ale during the 1980s. In 1998, Tetley was taken over by Carlsberg and the Leeds brewery was closed in 2011 and demolished the following year. The headquarters now house a contemporary arts and learning centre.

Holiday park operator sold out of administration to former owner: Independently-owned holiday and residential park operator Lifestyle Living UK has been sold out of administration to a former owner. Lifestyle Living UK, which has sites across Cumbria, Norfolk and Suffolk, entered administration in December, with Jason Baker and Miles Needham, of FRP Advisory, appointed joint administrators. Since coming into the Cambridge-based company, the administrators have continuously traded all its sites and have now sold the business and assets to a group owned and run by Tony Barney, who operates a number of parks across the UK and was owner and chairman of Lifestyle Living for four years before selling the business in 2014. Barney will continue to trade the business and its sites under the Lifestyle Living brand, safeguarding about 30 jobs across all sites. He told Insider Media: “It is great to be back at Lifestyle Living and I look forward to reinvigorating the sites so they can serve another generation of holiday-users and lodge owners with the high standards they have come to expect. With more than 30 years of experience in the holiday and residential parks sector, I could see an opportunity to come back to a business I helped build and take it on to a new level.”

M&B launches Toby Carvery partnership with Royal British Legion: Mitchells & Butlers has launched a charity partnership between its Toby Carvery brand and The Royal British Legion. All 172 Toby Carverys in the UK will add a special pudding to their menus, with 25p from each sale donated to the charity. Toby Carvery Facebook fans voted for the jam and coconut sponge to be the official charity pudding. Money will be used to support active and veteran members of the armed forces and their families, with Toby Carvery aiming to raise £100,000 for The Royal British Legion by the end of 2018. The brand has also partnered with the Defences Discount Card, which gives members of the armed forces, their spouses and veterans 10% off their food bill. Toby Carvery brand operations director Martin Gosling said: “The Legion’s cause is close to employees and guests of Toby Carvery up and down the country.”

West Berkshire Brewery takes delivery of £4m brewing equipment for new facility: West Berkshire Brewery is set to further ramp-up production following delivery of equipment from Italy worth £4m to its new brewery in Yattendon. A convoy of 28 lorries from Parma delivered the equipment, including specially designed bottling, kegging and canning lines, to the 38,000 square foot premises, which is being built next to its existing brewery. The new facility is due to start production in August and will also feature a bar, cafe and shop. The move is the brewery’s fourth expansion since the company was founded in 1995 by Dave and Helen Maggs, who appointed international brewing entrepreneur David Bruce as chairman in 2013. Bruce said: “This is a transformational time for our brewery and our £6m investment in its future will create one of the most pre-eminent brewing and packaging facilities in the UK.” The company raised £1.7m on crowdfunding platform Seedrs last year towards the new brewery, visitor centre and its first pub, which opened in Islington, north London. Earlier this month, West Berkshire Brewery returned to Seedrs looking to raise up to £3.8m for further expansion. The company is offering a 28.10% equity stake in return for the investment of £3,781,002, which is being run as a private campaign open to existing shareholders with a share price of £3.

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