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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 2nd Mar 2022 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Pitcher – we are holding firm on drink pricing until post-Budget: Rob Pitcher, chief executive of Revolution Bars Group, said the company was “holding firm” on its drink pricing until after the Budget, but had “recently taken 5% on food pricing”. Pitcher told Propel: “We took a little bit of price, maybe a couple of per cent, just before Christmas. And we’ve taken food pricing within the last week. We had held firm on that. We didn’t move food pricing in the autumn. We have just recently taken food price, and that's about 5%, and then we are reviewing ahead of the budget. What we’ve been able to do is mitigate quite a lot of the costs that we’ve seen, through ranging, through supplier negotiations and have taken a little bit of price, but we are holding firm on drink pricing until post budget.” Propel revealed last month that the company had signed on the former Las Iguanas site in Exeter for an opening under its eponymous brand. It plans two new openings this year and six next year. Pitcher said: “The Exeter site will be our first opening in four years. That’s put us on a route to growing the estate by more than 10% over the next 18 months. It feels like a really positive place to be when your like-for-like sales are plus 6% and you’ve got the biggest ever refurbishment programme the company’s ever done – 19 sites this year and 18 sites next year, ahead.” The company also hopes to convert a second existing site to its new Playhouse concept, which launched last year in Northampton. In terms of possible consolidation, Pitcher said: “If there is an opportunity to accelerate our growth, then we will very much look at it.” On the consumer demographic driving the company’s performance, Pitcher added: “It has been a continuation of what we experienced post Freedom Day last year. The younger guests and those looking for cocktails and higher energy entertainment seems to be what’s driving trade, certainly in the high street market. With people returning to the office, we’re also seeing the daytime guests start to come back.”

Industry News:

Sponsored message – Airship and Toggle offers either platform for free until 1 June in order to boost hospitality business’ revenue drivers: Airship, the hospitality CRM platform, and its sister platform Toggle, are offering hospitality businesses either of its products for free until 1 June, for anyone who chooses to sign up to both platforms. This development comes off the back of seeing the two platforms more integrated and responsive to each other than ever. The Alchemist, for example, sold £56,000 of gift cards in a single day, due to its intelligent synchronised email and gifting campaign. The “Better Together” campaign is open to new and existing customers. Airship chief commercial officer, Sam Brown, said: “Our platforms were built to be used together and we want to invite operators to see just what’s possible for themselves. We see customers that get a 44% redemption rate on birthday campaigns, when using a Toggle gift card within an automated email journey, rather than a single-use voucher. This is just one example of how you can drive new and repeat visits using this combination.” If you are interested in seeing how much you can boost your revenue streams, click here or email If you have a sponsored story you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email

Host of dessert shops added to seventh edition of The New Openings Database, 15,720-word report included: A host of dessert shops have been added to the seventh edition of The New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock. The database will show the details of 279 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches for Premium subscribers when it is published on Friday (4 March), at midday. The database shows the details of which company has opened a site or its plans to open one in the future. It will have details on what type of site it is and its location. There will also be a website link to the businesses so you can find out more about them. It is published on a monthly basis. The seventh edition of the database features Longboys, a small batch bakery concept specialising in gourmet finger doughnuts and coffee, which has opened a site in London’s Covent Garden. In addition, ice cream parlour Anita’s, which is launching its 1,000 square foot debut site in London’s Seven Dials, in April, serving more than 150 different flavours of ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yoghurt, will be featured. Also added this month is Yolé, the world’s first no-sugar ice cream and frozen yogurt brand, which has most recently opened a new site in Shoreditch. Also included is artisan dessert restaurant Heavenly Desserts, which has opened its 36th store – and first Scottish site – in Dundee Street, Edinburgh. Premium subscribers will also receive a 15,720-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to two other databases. The latest Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, was sent to Premium subscribers last Friday (25 February). The database contained 49 new companies, bringing the total number of businesses listed up to 2,341. The 227 sites run by those 49 new additions means the entire database of sites has reached 64,253 sites. Premium subscribers also received a 3,750-word report on the new businesses added. The go-to database provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Premium subscribers also receive the Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group. The Blue Book, which is also updated every month, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel group editor Mark Wingett. 

Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a catering business specialising across retail and events. The company is seeking an operations director to join its senior leadership team. The main focus of this role will be across the events division, overseeing the operations and delivery. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “The right candidate will be an experienced and dynamic hospitality expert. In this role the operations director will be expected to make informed commercial and strategic decisions in line with compliance and the company’s KPIs, rules and regulations.” The role is London based with a salary of up to £85,000 plus bonus. For more information and to apply, email

Company News:

Bid deadline set for Corbin & King: A deadline of 11 March has been set for parties wishing to make bids for London-based restaurant operator Corbin & King, Propel has learned. Corbin & King fell into administration in January, with FRP Advisory appointed as administrators. Its collapse was sparked by a row between its management, led by co-founder Jeremy King, and its majority shareholder, the Thai hotel giant Minor International. King wants to buy back his company with finance from an American investment fund, Knighthead Capital. The US investment fund has been working closely with King on trying to buy the restaurant business from Minor for well over a year. At the end of January, FRP Advisory was said to have received 35 to 40 expressions of interest in Corbin & King, with serial sector investor Richard Caring believed to have initially been one of the interested parties. In 2017, Minor, one of the largest hotel operators in the Asia Pacific, acquired Corbin & King, in a deal valued at circa £58m. Last month, Corbin & King fought off a High Court challenge to a proposed £38m rescue package. A subsidiary of Thai Minor International attempted to block the restaurant group from repaying a debt to the Thai company after Minor sought to call it in. Mr Justice Foxton said, however, he was “not persuaded” to grant the injunction. According to King’s court statement, Knighthead offered to buy Corbin & King’s assets for £45m in February as well as offering a loan to refinance all debts including the sums owed to Minor, in order to avoid insolvency. Doherty said Knighthead had “confidence” in King and Corbin and was “prepared to work with them” in an effort to “move forward successfully”. Marion Walsh-Hédouin, a vice-president at Minor, said the judgment “resolves nothing”, with the restaurant group replacing one secured creditor with another.

RedCat Pub Company appoints Steve Trowbridge as new CFO: RedCat Pub Company, the investment vehicle from ex-Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand, has appointed Steve Trowbridge, formerly of Evans Cycles and Thomson Reuters, as its new chief financial officer, Propel has learned. Trowbridge, who will join the Oaktree Capital-backed RedCat next Monday (7 March), was, until very recently, chief financial officer at the AIM-listed Arena Events Group, and has both private equity and public company experience from his senior finance roles at Evans Cycles, HSS Hire and Thomson Reuters. Prior to that, he was an equity analyst at SG Securities and qualified as a chartered accountant at Ernst & Young in 1997, having graduated from Oxford University. He will replace Sharon Badelek, who has been RedCat’s chief financial officer since its launch last February. Badelek, the former chief executive of Novus Leisure, will step down from RedCat this Friday (4 March) after helping the business grow to just over 100 sites, including the acquisition last year of the Coaching Inn Group. The business passed the 100-site mark at the end of 2021 after securing a number of individual deals at the end of the year.
Wasabi founder lines up UK debut for Pelicana sister brand: Wasabi founder Dong Hyum Kim, who owns the UK franchise rights to South Korean friend chicken brand Pelicana, has lined up a UK debut for its sister brand, Myungrang Hot Dog. The specialty Korean hot dog concept is set to open its first UK location in Islington’s newly refurbished Angel Central later this year. It will sit alongside Pelicana’s second UK branch, which is an 80-cover 1,600 square-foot site, and the two restaurants will share a dedicated access point. Myungrang Hot Dog, which has a strong presence in the Philippines, Singapore, Mexico, Indonesia and Taiwan, will take a 2,172 square-foot site in the development. Launched in Korea in 2016, the concept has opened 730 stores worldwide. Kim said: “Our first entrance into the UK market for our Myungrang Hot Dog concept at Angel Central is extremely exciting and only adds to the Pelicana forthcoming opening. This location is the perfect site to test out both concepts within a new UK market given its ambiance, connectivity within London and unique offering.” This follows the recent opening of Saint Espresso, the grass root café and coffee roasters, and the recent signing of Birdies, the street food eatery and crazy golf experience, at Angel Central. The development, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, recently underwent a £16m refurbishment. CBRE and CWM acted for Angel Central while Myungrang Hot Dog and Pelicana dealt direct.
Former Hawthorn Leisure property director Andrew Cannons joins Punch: Fortress Investment Group-backed Punch Pubs & Co has appointed Andrew Cannons, formerly of Hawthorn Leisure and Greene King, as its new head of estate development and acquisitions. Cannons has spent the past two years as pub property director at the now Admiral Taverns-owned Hawthorn Leisure. Previous to that, he spent more than three years at Greene King, and before that, was operations director at Bellrock, which provides smart property and facilities management solutions for retail, healthcare, education, hospitality and corporate clients in the UK and Ireland. Prior to that, he spent a decade at Heineken, including three years as acquisitions director for Scottish & Newcastle. He also spent almost three years as head of property for Heineken-owned Stars Pubs & Bars, overseeing 1,300 sites.
Grosvenor CEO – we’re working to redefine the role of a landlord: James Raynor, chief executive of central London landlord Grosvenor, has said that the company is working to redefine the role of a landlord, “from a provider of space to a fundamental and valued part of an occupier’s supply chain”. He said: “As property owners, we have the opportunity to become a positive proactive choice rather than remaining a consequence of where an occupier wants to base their business. So, we’re not only changing not only the way we operate – providing more services and even investing directly in occupier growth – we are also changing how we talk about ourselves. There’s a Dickensian pastiche of a landlord – bloated, suited and booted and raking in money from his subjects. The modern caricature of a commercial landlord during the pandemic wasn’t much better. While we contributed more to small business survival than possibly any other industry, there were pockets that failed to act with integrity, and many saw us as fair game. When I became chief executive in February 2020, I already knew that we had to turn the concept of a landlord on its head from an arm’s length, transactional (and often adversarial) relationship to one of partnership. Three years ago, I’d probably have been laughed out of the room. But now people are taking notice, and oddly, the pandemic made this easier to achieve. Taking a personal approach, understanding businesses better and putting skin in the game has proven to be a strong formula. We have more two-way dialogue, we’re providing better services and are able to build fruitful connections between occupiers.”

London-based food delivery app featuring live chat and stream options to launch this spring: London-based social food app Propagrub will launch this spring, aiming to break down barriers between consumers and those preparing their food with live chat and stream options. Founders and father-and-son team, Brandon and Jacob Elmon, designed the app with the hope of getting redundant chefs back working in the kitchen, inspired by the effects of the pandemic. Chief executive Brandon spent almost three decades advising the likes of McDonald’s, Nando’s, Pizza Hut, Wagamama and Five Guys on brand growth and corporate expansion as managing and executive director for Davis Coffer Lyons, while chief operating officer Jacob has a wealth of experience across marketing technology, cryptocurrency, design and development. Brandon said: “It is in the very nature of modern food delivery apps that we don’t know what’s going into our food or who’s making it. Propagrub is all about rebuilding these connections. We connect our users directly with the person cooking their meal.” Other features of the app will include a recommendation algorithm and categorised sections, while users will also be able to share photos of their dishes and get a more in-depth preview of the chefs. Jacob added: “This is really what makes Propagrub more than just an app, but a social platform, like Instagram or TikTok. Everyone loves to share images of their food, but you often find them getting drowned out by the vast variety of other content shared online.” Propagrub will also introduce its own cryptocurrency, which can used alongside regular payment options and have its own reward system. Food can be collected or delivered, and to offset its carbon footprint, Propagrub will plant a tree for each delivery through a partnership with Ecologi. Chefs can sign up for £1 a day (free for the first three months), and the app will take just 10% from all orders. Propubrub plans to have 100 drivers before its official launch, and by the end of 2022, it aims to be turning out 1,000 meals a week, cooked by their 300-600 chefs. 

EG Group reports strong Q4 2021 and full year 2021 trading, driven by continued takeaway and delivery demand: EG Group, the forecourt and roadside operator controlled by the Issa brothers, has reported a strong full year’s trading and Q4 2021 in its latest trading update. This has been driven by an enhanced foodservice proposition and improved market conditions, the group said. In FY2021, group Ebitda increased by 16.3% to $1,451m, primarily driven by a stand-out performance in foodservice and the easing of covid-19 restrictions, while group Ebitda increased by 15.2% on a like-for-like basis. Gross profit on foodservice operations increased by 99.9% year-on-year and 66.9% on a like-for-like basis, driven by continued demand for takeaway and delivery offerings and more favourable trading conditions. This was boosted by a continuous pipeline of foodservice outlet openings across the group and completed 2021 acquisitions. Group Ebitda for Q4 2021 increased by 69.9% year-on-year to $377m, driven by a strong foodservice performance as well as recovery from challenging pandemic-related market conditions. Foodservice operations were particularly strong, with gross profit increasing by 75% year-on-year and 30% on a like-for-like basis. This, again, was supported by the demand for takeaway and delivery offerings, plus the opening of 52 new foodservice outlets in the quarter, alongside the acquisition of Cooplands, the UK’s second largest bakery chain, which it plans to expand over here. EG Group also expects its OMV forecourt acquisition to complete in Q2 2022. During Q4, the group completed the divestment of 32 sites in the UK and Ireland, addressing the findings of the CMA’s review of the Shareholders acquisition of Asda. In December, the group drew down a £220m bridge facility to fund the Leon and Amsric acquisitions in the UK.

Adil Group to focus future Burger King openings on drive-thrus: Burger King franchisee Adil Group has said it plans to focus future store openings on drive-thrus with the impact of covid-19 having highlighted the “importance and strength of the offering”. The company set out its future plans as it reported turnover of £12.6m for the year ending 31 March 2021 versus £13.7m the previous year as a result of store closures due to the pandemic. Ebitda increased to £2.1m from £872,000 the previous year. Pre-tax profit rose to £2.2m from £216,000 the year before. The company received £900,000 in support from covid-19-related government schemes during the period. In his report accompanying the accounts, director Mohammed Adil said: “The majority of stores within the company's portfolio have experienced year-on-year sales growth due to an increased demand in our drive-thru stores, home deliveries and reduction in VAT rates. The increase in sales at these stores have assisted in increasing the Ebitda with business rates relief and more simplified store menu also increasing the profitability of the company. The group recorded a net cash inflow from operating activities of £2,535,032 (2020: net inflow of £233,150) as the group recorded strong profits and retained its cash for future investments. As a result of the impacts of covid-19, the company has identified the importance and strength of both the offering of delivery and operating drive-thru stores. The company continues to look for future store openings that will maximise these opportunities.” Adil Group operates circa 15 Burger King restaurants in the UK.

The Botanist confirmed for Edinburgh St James Quarter: Graphite Capital-backed pub restaurant group The New World Trading Company (NWTC) has confirmed it will open a site under it’s The Botanist concept at the St James Quarter in Edinburgh. As first revealed by Propel last September, the company is taking 11,400 square feet of space in the St Andrews Hall building of the scheme for its first opening in Scotland. Doors are expected to open later this year, although an exact opening date is yet to be confirmed. Ed Corrigan, at St James Quarter, said: “The Botanist is a landmark signing for us, and this is reflected by the flagship location they will be occupying in St Andrews Hall. We’ve made a concerted effort to bring together a great mix of distinctive and current brands to St James Quarter, and The Botanist will further help reinforce the reputation of the development as the definitive lifestyle district in Edinburgh.” Natasha Waterfield, chief operating officer at New World Trading Company, added: “Bringing our unique concept to Scotland for the first time is a hugely exciting moment for the business. Finding the right space in any location is paramount, and St James Quarter is an innovative development that aligns with our brand and proposition. We can’t wait for the residents of Edinburgh, as well as the many tourists that visit the area, to experience our one-of-a-kind offer at The Botanist.” NWTC recently secured a site in Barnsley’s Glass Works development for an opening under its core The Botanist brand. The Botanist grew to 23 sites when it opened in Exeter at the end of last year. NWTC has also secured openings in Ipswich, Worcester, Chester (The Florist) and a second site in Cardiff. The company is also believed to be in talks on sites in Durham and Portsmouth.
Bosco Pizzeria confirms launch of smaller, more delivery-focused concept: Bosco Pizzeria, the Bristol-based business that includes Steve Hill, former chief executive of Wagamama and non-executive director of Pho, as a backer, has confirmed it is launching a smaller, more delivery-focused pizza concept called Pizzucci. As revealed by Propel in October, Bosco Pizzeria has taken on a site in Gloucester Road, Bristol, for the new format, which will have circa 40 covers and be more focused on delivery and takeout than its core eponymous brand. “Pizzucci was born as an idea for a takeaway pizza joint in 2020 and has been growing and developing ever since,” the Bosco team wrote in an email to its mailing list. “It has most definitely grown into much, much more than a takeaway and we can’t wait to unleash it later in the year.” Aiming to open in May, the restaurant “takes inspiration from the best pizza restaurants of New York, but this time we are taking the feel of the Big Apple a little further”. The dough will have a shorter ferment, with 18-inch pizzas available either whole or on the move through a slice hatch. There will also be frozen margaritas and soft serve ice cream. The Miles Johnson-led company operates sites in Milson Place in Bath and Whiteladies Road in Bristol. Its remaining Bristol site, in Regent Street, remains closed. 

Crerar Hotels secures £2m shareholder loan to fund investment: Scottish hotel operator Crerar Hotels has secured a £2m loan from shareholders to fund further investment in three of its sites. The company plans to use the funds for new spas at the Loch Fyne and Golf View hotels along with a refurbishment of the Deeside Inn. Crerar stated: “These combined investments should put the business in a very strong position to take advantage of all the opportunities that arise as the pandemic continues to recede and the directors remain confident the business will continue to develop, and improve its performance in accordance with its strategic objectives.” The business also has a £4.5m overdraft facility in place to “cover extreme measures such as further covid-19 imposed lockdowns being necessary over the next 18 months”. Crerar provided the update as it reported turnover of £5.5m for the year ending 27 March 2021 versus £15.5m the previous year as a result of its hotels being closed for the majority of the period. The group incurred an Ebitda operational loss of £686,000 after receipt of government support. Pre-tax losses increased to £2.4m from £1.9m the year before. During the period, the company received £2.6m in support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and government grants. The company also operates Thainstone House, Oban Bay Hotel, Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa and The Glencoe Inn.

Pizza Punks to open sixth site next month: Pizza, music and cocktails concept Pizza Punks, which is part of the Hell Yeah Hospitality Group, will next month open its sixth site, in Durham. An April opening has been slated for the 110-cover Riverside Walk restaurant – joining the existing Pizza Punks sites in Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds, Newcastle and its latest opening, in Leicester. Pizza Punks founder, Brad Stevens, said: “We can’t wait to share the Pizza Punks experience with the city. At Pizza Punks we do things differently, our customers have the freedom to make the experience their own – they can punk up their pizza or pasta with unlimited toppings for no extra charge. For us, it is about providing excellent quality ingredients, unrivalled levels of customer service and, most importantly, having fun.” Stevens, who also has Pizza Punks openings in Liverpool and Cardiff lined up this year, told Propel in January that he plans to open 25 new sites over the next three years.

Glasgow-based American-style fried chicken restaurant reveals plans for fourth site just weeks after opening third: Glasgow-based American-style fried chicken restaurant Buck’s Bar has revealed plans for opening a fourth site in the city, just weeks after opening its third. Buck’s, which only last month opened the doors at its new venue in the Mount Florida area of the city, did not confirm when it will open or the exact location, but told its Facebook followers to “stay tuned”. It wrote: “Hot on the heels of Buck’s Bar south side… we can confirm that a fourth Buck’s Bar is coming soon. We will reveal the next Glasgow location shortly. Stay tuned Buckers.” Buck’s Bar, which specialises in buttermilk fried chicken, wings and huge burgers served on wooden trays, also has venues in West Regent Street and Trongate. Its latest site replaced Italian eatery Sapori d'Italia in Cathcart Road.

Leeds-based brunch concept to double up and branch into evenings: Leeds-based brunch concept House of Koko is to double up in the city – and branch its offer into the evenings. Taking over the premises in Oakwood that was previously home to Hessian, the new House of Koko site will open on Friday (4 March). House of Koko said it will continue to deliver on its brunch offering and Hessian’s staff will remain with the business. By April, the venue will also open in the evenings, offering a supper menu of small plates alongside wine and cocktails – and perhaps even DJs. Owner Rosita Roger said: “We’re excited to expand into another exciting Leeds foodie suburb. This up-and-coming area already has some fab foodie offerings, and we’re so happy to be joining the club. Establishing ourselves as a regular evening venue is also an exciting new step for us, and a challenge we are ready to meet head-on.” House of Koko’s existing site is in Chapel Allerton.

McMillan Hotels reports ‘extremely strong’ interest since being put up for sale: Family-owned Scottish operator McMillan Hotels has reported “extremely strong” interest since the business was put up for sale at the end of last year. Graham + Sibbald is marketing the company, which consists of North West Castle in Stranraer, Cally Palace Hotel & Golf Course in Gatehouse of Fleet and Fernhill Hotel in Portpatrick, all of which McMillan Hotels said have traded well since reopening after the pandemic. Director Douglas McMillan said: “Graham + Sibbald has reported extremely strong levels of interest from local, national and overseas buyers. Until such times as a suitable buyer has been found, the family remains totally committed to continuing to energetically operate all outlets and to drive the business ahead for the benefit of the company, our shareholders, our staff, and our customers.” It comes as the company reported turnover of £2.2m for the year ending 31 May 2021 versus £3.8m the previous year. It made a pre-tax profit of £663,000 compared with a loss of £397,000 the year before. The company received government grants of £1.4m during the period.

Accor expands partnership with The Fragrance Group as it plans three new UK hotels: Global hospitality group Accor has expanded its partnership with development partner The Fragrance Group as it plans three new UK hotels. It is opening The Municipal Hotel Liverpool MGallery, Mercure Paignton and Ibis Styles Paignton – the first sites in northern Europe for the Accor-Fragrance partnership, which also has 17 hotels in Australia and Singapore. The Municipal Hotel Liverpool MGallery will open in 2023 as a 189-bedroom boutique hotel following an extensive conversion of the grade-II listed municipal buildings, featuring a pool, gym, spa, treatment rooms, restaurant, bar and lounge. Mercure Paignton will be a five storey, 161-bedroom hotel on Paignton’s seafront, due to open in the third quarter of 2022, while Ibis Styles Paignton will be a 120-room seafront hotel opening in the fourth quarter of 2022, also featuring a restaurant. Philip Lassman, vice-president, development for Accor Northern Europe, said: “Following the successful launch of hotels with Fragrance Group in both Australia and Singapore, Accor is delighted to be bringing the partnership to the UK and northern Europe market with these three new signings. We are proud of our continued growth, which is enabling us to further develop projects in the UK with great partners who share Accor’s vision and ambition for the hospitality industry.” Accor operates more than 5,200 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues in 110 countries. The Fragrance Group, based in Singapore, bought The Aloft Liverpool hotel off a guide price of £12m in December.

The Light secures deal to anchor Redhill development: Cinema operator The Light has agreed a deal to open a site at The Rise development in Redhill, Surrey. The Light has committed to a long lease to bring a six-screen cinema, a nine-lane boutique bowling and retro arcade, a diner and bar and a range of other leisure activities. Reigate & Banstead Borough Council has secured The Light as the anchor tenant, with 35,000 square feet of entertainment space in the development currently being built between the High Street and Marketfield Way. Discussions are being held with a number of other tenants. James Morris, chief executive of The Light Cinemas, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring a whole new entertainment and leisure experience to the people of Redhill and excited to be part of the town’s transformation.” Council leader, Cllr Mark Brunt, added: “Securing The Light for our development provides a huge boost to our scheme and to realising the long-term economic future of Redhill town centre.”

Actually Group acquires Welsh holiday retreat for £1.3m and plans £1.5m refurbishment: Hospitality and leisure developer Actually Group has pledged to pump £1.5m into upgrading a Welsh holiday retreat after acquiring it for circa £1.3m. The group, which specialises in low-carbon and environmentally sensitive holiday developments, wants to improve the quality of the accommodation and other facilities at Glan Morfa, in south west Anglesey. The site is home to seven stone holiday cottages, which were converted from derelict farm outbuildings and a milking parlour in the 1990s, set in 37 acres of land, part of which is managed as a nature reserve. Upgrade works will include a full refurbishment of the cottages as well as improvements to a games room, library and laundry room. Rhodri Andrews, marketing director at Actually Group, said: “Glan Morfa is an absolute gem of a holiday retreat, and we know it is particularly well loved by environmentally conscious visitors who want to holiday with the lightest possible carbon footprint. We are delighted to have completed on our purchase, and we’re excited by the opportunity that further investment into the site will deliver for green tourism on Anglesey.” The Actually Group also operates sites in Cornwall, the Cotswolds, Cumbria, Devon, Northumberland, North Wales, North Yorkshire and the Usk Valley, and is “coming soon” to Scotland.

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