Covid casualty pub gets knew lease of life as part of £39m investment by Heineken

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Heineken UK is investing £39m in upgrading and reopening pubs in its Star Pubs’ estate this year in a move which it says demonstrates its confidence in the resilience of the great British local in the face of global uncertainty. The move will create an estimated 1,075 new jobs.

More than 600 of Heineken UK’s 2,400 pubs are in line for improvement, with 94 of these set for makeovers costing on average £200,000. The investment will also cover works to reopen 62 long-term closed locals in 2024. By the end of the year, the company will have reopened 156 such pubs since the start of 2023, reducing the number of closed pubs in its estate to pre-pandemic levels.

Amongst those given a new lease of life is The Ashford Arms at Ashford-in-the-Water. A Covid casualty, the Grade II listed inn closed in March 2020 but reopened four years later thanks to a joint £1.6m refurbishment by Star Pubs and Rob Hattersley of Derbyshire-based Longbow Venues. The funds have turned The Ashford Arms into a premium country pub with a new snug, two bars, a 107-cover restaurant, nine boutique ensuite letting rooms and a stunning 30-seater alfresco area with a retractable roof.

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