Heineken gives North West locals a £4.6M boost

Heineken gives North West locals a  £4.6M boost

Work begins this week on a £490,000 refurbishment of The Weld Blundell pub in Lydiate by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Bars and multiple operator MSR Pubs Ltd following a fifteen-month closure.

The expenditure is part of a £4.6 million investment that Star Pubs & Bars announced it plans to make in its 192 North West pubs in 2017 including £1.2 million in the Liverpool area where the leased pub operator has 23 pubs. 

The refurbishment at The Weld Blundell will transform the tired, dated building into an outstanding pub serving fresh home cooked food for the first time in many years. Work is expected to take two months with the pub scheduled to open in early October creating fifteen new jobs. 

MSR Pubs Ltd also operates The Yew Tree and The Plough at Preston with Star Pubs & Bars. Its director Mike Reeve was brought up in the Lydiate area and still has family living in the local area. “I’ve known The Weld Blundell for thirty years. It made me sad to see it boarded up when I drove past,” says Mike. “I was hooked when I found out a refurbishment was planned and that it was with Star, as I already enjoy a good partnership with them at my two other pubs. I want to create a comfortable welcoming village pub where people can meet and enjoy a drink or a meal.”

Outside work will focus on making The Weld Blundell an asset to the centre of Lydiate and will include improving the car park, repainting the pub and replanting. Disabled access will be added with a new side entrance from the car park. The pub’s rear garden will be landscaped and properly enclosed making it safe for children. A patio will also be laid for al fresco eating and drinking. “The pub has such a prominent position in the village, it needs to look its very best,” says Mike.

Inside, The Weld Blundell will be completely refurbished and redecorated throughout including new toilets and a new open-plan kitchen. The public bar will be retained and its fireplace restored whilst, at the rear, a dining area with views over the garden and capacity for fifty customers will be built. Mike is also investing in a barista quality coffee machine and will serve fresh coffee all day.

The Weld Blundell will be dog-friendly providing water bowls outside and dog treats behind the bar.

MSR Pubs Ltd was a GBPA finalist for Best Pub Partnership in 2015. Reeve said:  “I hope our new project at The Weld Blundell provides another opportunity to apply for the award with Star. I think we have a great appreciation of each other and I can only see the relationship strengthening.   Like all good business partners, we are open in our discussions and happy to challenge each other on occasion, and this plays a vital role in driving the business forward.”

Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens said: “We’re pleased to be investing with Mike on another business venture. He is an outstanding licensee and passionate about creating a great local for the community where his family still lives.”