Pub Tenancies – Spotlight On The North East

pub tenancies, pub to let, North East England
Written by: Pub Partners Team
Date added: Wed, 27/09/2017 - 10:00

Our Business Development Manager (BDM) for the North East of England is Andy Wearn. He’s been with Greene King for approximately 16 years, having started out in our managed division with Fayre & Square (formerly owned by Spirit) who Greene King purchased in 2014.

Andy managed several very successful pubs before moving into the leased division working in our In Pub training team and then becoming a BDM. As a BDM he is responsible for finding pub operators to take on a lease or tenancy when pubs become available, and working with new and existing licensees to develop their businesses and help them create profitable and exciting businesses. He has a number of opportunities currently available - for more details on each scroll down this post.

Over the last 16 years Andy has witnessed a small revolution in the pub trade as the leased pub model has become an attractive opportunity for entrepreneurial people looking to run their own businesses. As we have seen across England and Scotland, ‘premiumisation’ is driving this segment of the pub industry, and the North East is no exception. Andy says:

“Premiumisation through draft lager, draft beer, kegged bitter and food is absorbing some of the decline we’ve seen [in the industry]. Standard lagers are a good example. While sales of standard lagers have decreased, we’re seeing various different premium lagers absorbing this shortfall.”

This is a trend Greene King is helping our tenants to succeed at with investment in our pubs to ensure that our pubs reflect the premium offer. Andy says:

“I’ve got a very strong investment pipeline, we’re looking to spend about £1.1 million by the end of this financial year on pipeline sites that I’ve earmarked. We spent close to a million last year on investments which have all been successful. It’s about identifying the right site, especially if a new operator comes on and there’s a change to the offer. So maybe stepping up from a value, basic entry offer to a more mainstream or premium offer – through food and drink. That’s where we’re seeing the biggest growth in our business, through investment and segment change.”

Another trend Andy’s noticed in recent years is the number of people contacting him to discuss pub opportunities with no previous experience of the pub trade. We believe this is because of a combination of entrepreneurship – for which the tenant pub model is a perfect fit – and the wide range of support pub companies like Greene King offer their tenants. Andy previously worked as part of our In Pub training team and knows first-hand how training courses can provide new pub tenants with all the business skills they need to run a successful pub.

“We’ve got a great training programme that people get massive benefit from. Through it they realise what they’re getting into and off the back of that we’re putting people into pubs without previous experience.  They’re proving themselves with their business plans and the research they do into the area and pub they’re interested in, where they can see opportunities to be made, whether through investment or not.”

If you’re new to the pub trade, or are an experienced operator, here are five great opportunities Andy has for the right person.

7 Exciting Opportunities For Pub Operators In The North East

To give you an idea of the type of pubs available, take a look at these fantastic opportunities that were available at the time of publishing. If these are no longer available, you can find more pubs to let in the North East by searching our website using the seach function at the top of this article.

1. Huge potential in Cottingham!

The Cross Keys in the village of Cottingham is a fantastic pub, popular with locals and visitors to the area, catering for drinkers and diners alike. Refurbished approximately three years ago, the Cross Keys is a traditional looking pub with a warm and welcoming ambience. Offered with a Turnover Tenancy Agreement, there is huge potential for the right operator to expand and develop the existing offer.

Cottingham is a large village in East Ridiing, just 4.5 miles from Kingston Upon Hull. The Cross Keys is located on the northern edge of the village, bordering countryside, and is well known in the area. The interior is spacious with 100+ covers and a good sized commercial kitchen. Outside there is a large car park and beer terrace providing more food covers in the summer months.

We believe this pub offers a great business for the right operator, with potential to build on the food offer as well as catering for local customers with quiz nights and other regular events. 

2. Big pub, big investment opportunity

If you have big plans, can see the big picture and want a big pub, the Grey Horse in Whitburn, Sunderland is a big opportunity! This pub is currently trading at the value end of the market but sits in the affluent village of Whitburn. As such there is a great opportunity to bring it up to a mainstream or premium offer and increase footfall from local residents looking for something bigger and better.

As you might have gathered it’s a big building, located on the main road through Whitburn and can’t be missed. As well as being in a prime location the internal and external areas of the pub offer huge scope for investment and increasing trade. Currently there are 75 food covers, but with the existing large trade kitchen and the right operator this could be increased to around 100 covers. There is also a function room that provides many possibilities for diversifying the current offer and taking this pub to the next level.

As well as local residents Whitburn also attracts some tourism with the Grey Horse just a short walk from the beach, and the world famous Sunderland International Air Show attracting visitors to the area.

3. Great location, great opportunity

The Jolly Bowman in Wallsend - just three miles from the centre of Newcastle - is in a great location for local and passing trade, and offers a great opportunity for the right operator. The pub boasts a large trading space for drinkers and diners, with segmented areas offering a variety of seating areas. The Jolly Bowman is well known for entertainment, including quiz nights, team games and live weekend entertainment, making it a popular destination for locals and sports fans. Owing to its prominent position in Wallsend, the pub also sees plenty of custom from passers-by too.

This pub comes with a Turnover Tenancy Agreement and generous private accommodation.

4. Traditional, community pub

Called the Old England, this pub really lives up to its name as it is a traditional British pub and an important community asset. Ten years ago there were five pubs in Great Lumley, Chester-le-Street, now only the Old England remains.

This means that the pub needs an operator who is passionate about providing the local community with a great pub, and can develop it into a community hub that caters for a variety of customers. Currently it has a strong sports-led offer with 80 food covers. However, with two bars there is considerable scope to provide locals with a traditional community pub, extending the food offer and creating a family-friendly restaurant and lounge, whilst continuing to screen live sports and other entertainment.

We’re looking for an operator who can see the potential in this pub and wants to be part of the local community. It's a great opportunity to build a really solid business, and also continue to provide local residents with this important community asset.

5. Entrepreneurs wanted in Washington!

If you’re local to Washington, Tyne and Wear, and are looking for a great investment opportunity, Sandpiper could be for you. Even better if you know the site already and the village of Biddick.

This pub is earmarked for investment and we’re looking the right operator to do that investment with. We think it needs to be someone who knows the area well, understands the opportunity and the local market, and wants to create a profitable business for themselves.

This pub would be suitable for a first time operator who has an entrepreneurial streak and a good head for business. Alternatively, we know that more experienced operators will also be able to see the potential in this pub, and will be interested in taking it to the next level.

6. Take this popular pub to the next level

The Ship Inn on the outskirts of St Helens, is a popular locals pub with great potential to take it to the next level and give it more of a Mainstream feel. With a bar area and lounge there's scope to develop the food side of the business without impacting on trade from regular drinkers. The kitchen is ready to go, it just needs a pub operator with some great ideas for developing the menu and offering customers what they want. Alongside the food opportunity, investment is also planned for the Ship Inn to help take it to the next level.

If you want a pub that offers an opportunity to put your stamp on the place, and be part of this great community, this pub is well worth a closer look. With the support of Greene King the new tenant at the Ship Inn can build on the existing trade from locals and visitors to nearby Sankey Valley Park, creating a great business on this spacious site.

7. Ideal for an experienced pub operator

The Travellers Rest has lots of scope for an operator who wants to expand the offer across all areas and transform this pub into a great business opportunity. Situated in the village of Wideopen, six miles from Newcastle upon Tyne city centre, this large site provides room to increase revenues and take the pub to the next level. We're looking for an experienced operator for the Travellers Rest who can see potential in the pub, and knows how to maximise the opportunity to increase profits and attract more customers to the site.

If you're looking for a project that provides scope to create the pub business you want, look no further than the Travellers Rest! 

This pub is offered with a Turnover Tenancy Agreement (partial tie with discounts on beer and cider*).

* depending on sales mix

Andy Wearn covers the following areas in the North East if you would like to explore all the opportunities he currently has available click on the links below. We also have a Facebook group for pub operators in the North East. It's a place to share ideas and discuss the trade in this area. You don't have to run a pub with Greene King to be part of this group, click here to become a member.

Pub tenancies in Tyne and Wear

Pub tenancies in Durham

Pub tenancies in North Yorkshire

You don’t have to have found a specific pub to apply to run a pub with Greene King. Apply today and we can help you with your search and help you identify the right pub business for your circumstances.