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Newcastle based operator, Vaulkhard Leisure takes on Star lease for The Diamond, Ponteland


Newcastle based leisure operator, Vaulkhard Leisure, has taken on a lease for The Diamond pub in Ponteland, bringing its estate to 20 pubs, bars and cafes.  The group is coinvesting £350,000 with Star Pubs & Bars to modernise the pub, which has 12 ensuite wi-fi fitted letting rooms and a function room.  The operator had been running The Diamond on a temporary agreement since the end of 2018. 

The Diamond is Vaulkhard Leisure’s third lease with Star Pubs & Bars.  Their others are Swarley’s in the Groat Market in Newcastle and Staith House on the Fish Quay in North Shields.

The move is a demonstration of Vaulkhard Leisure’s confidence in the hospitality sector in the North East.

Director Ollie Vaulkhard says: “Whilst Covid has been a challenge for all it has also presented lots of opportunities, which we’ll continue to take.  We have moved away from late-night venues to those with broader appeal and will continue to invest and grow in the region.  Unlike other parts of the country, we saw strong performance in Newcastle city centre from April 2021 especially mid-week.  I think it is because we don’t have the same proportion of commuters.  The city didn’t lose its workforce.  It was still a nice place to socialise.  Even though some people did work from home, they continued to come into the city for leisure.  I have enjoyed watching our sites build trade and see customers and staff happy once again.”

Known for its fantastic riverside location, The Diamond refurbishment will create a comfortable usable alfresco socialising space that can be enjoyed for the majority of the year.  Funds are being spent on a six-by-six metre covered timber pergola adorned with foliage and vintage lighting.  The heated decked area will feature two trees within the canopy, a gas firepit, metal privacy screens and rustic wooden tables and benches covered in sheep fleeces.

The exterior of the pub is also to be repainted in a muted beige with new striking gold and black signage.

Inside, the décor and furniture will be upgraded offering better-quality leather and fabric low- and high-level seating. The walls will be a mix of painted and rustic timber panelling and the bar will be clad in a metal decorative tile and surrounded by ceramic tiles. 

Says Jeremy Scott, Investment Manager, Star Pubs & Bars: “We’re delighted that Vaulkhard Leisure has taken on the lease of The Diamond.  They have years of experience and a great reputation for running quality pubs, bars and cafes in the North East.

“The upgrade will improve the comfort for customers and bring the pub up to date. By the time The Diamond reopens hopefully the airport will be operating to capacity, making it an ideal location for a stopover as well as a great place to socialise for the many local customers who use it regularly.”

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