Punch Taverns has announced plans to invest over £3m in its Scottish estate over the next 12 months while Star Pubs & Bars have pledged to spend £2m. The two pub companies, which between them are responsible for more than 300 pubs, are refurbishing and improving outside areas.
Punch’s Operations Director Scotland, Brian Davidson said, “Tourism and the economy in Scotland are particularly buoyant and we have seen a growing demand for good quality hotel accommodation coupled with traditional Scottish hospitality. Our hotels and pubs are all in prime locations and refurbishment schemes have been designed to make the most of the site’s heritage whilst celebrating locally sourced food and drink. From traditional wet-led sites to award winning gastro pubs, our Scottish estate has it all.”
Over recent months, Punch has invested £500k in developing the 16 bedroom Crown Hotel in Stornoway and £1m in the 24 bedroom Portree Hotel on the Isle of Skye.
During 2016, the company plans to further develop key hotel sites in the North, Central Belt and Borders along with a number of pub sites throughout Scotland.
Meanwhile Star Pubs & Bars is planning to spend, where possible, prior to the peak summer trading months and, in pubs with a reputation for sport, in time for Euro 2016. It has put aside nearly £500K to improving the outside of 19 of its pubs with The Hazeldene in Gretna Green one of the first to benefit. The pub has recently had a £220K refurbishment, and £40K of that was on the outside area. A 40 cover deck has been created with access to the main building through French doors and it also boasts a retractable canopy.
The development has helped to double the pub’s trading space, which will also allow the licensees, Paula Baillie and Kieran White, (pictured) to grow their function and wedding business.
Plans are in place for another 13 pubs to have their external areas redeveloped to increase their capacity and covers. A further six pubs will also be benefitting from new signage and external decorations to enhance their kerb appeal. Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars MD said, “These projects will meet customer demand for alfresco dining and boost pubs’ capacity for a relatively low spend. The outside of a pub is its shop window and if it looks great it will attract passing trade.”