Heineken says it is targeting underperforming pubs in its Star Pubs & Bars estate, with its latest £20m investment.
The sum, which takes the total invested in the estate over the last five years to £100m, is intended to help pubs adapt their offer to 'changing consumer demands'. The company has also pledged to spend an additional £3m on maintenance and repairs this year.
Heineken said rural and suburban pubs would be a particular target, with around £10m earmarked to transform them into 'great local pubs', with the introduction of food and coffee offers.
'Vibrant pubs are an affordable, fun place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together,' Star Pubs & Bars managing director, Lawson Mountstevens, said. '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.'
New research commissioned by Heineken and carried out by Populus, shows that 23% of British adults visit their local pub once a week or more. However, 62% want their local to offer good food, 37% look for a good beer garden, 24% would like free WiFi, and a fifth want live sport on TV.
Mountstevens added: 'Two thirds of Star pubs are located 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. The continued investment creates pubs people want to use, benefitting local communities and creating local jobs.'