MORE than 300 new jobs will be created, and 30 pubs opened, thanks to a Blackpool firm bucking the national trend.
Amber Taverns has secured an additional £5m funding to enable further expansion by revitalising neglected community pubs.
The funding will support the company’s aim to open 30 venues over the next two to three years in addition to the 70 it has on the books, in turn creating some 300 jobs across the north of England.
The expansion programme will also provide demand for shop fitters, electricians and other trades to deliver the extensive refurbishments Amber carries out on each pub it acquires.
The funding comes in the form of a £4m revolving credit facility from Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Merseyside, plus £1m in loan notes from LGV Capital, the company’s majority shareholders.
The news comes on the back of the firm winning the prestigious Morning Advertiser 250 Award for the pub company with the “Most Impressive Profit Growth” among its industry peers.
Amber acquires “unloved” drinking (or wet-led) pubs and breathes new life into them through significant investment and installing operators.
Amber Taverns, based in Victory Road, was founded in 2005 and purchased in October 2010 by LGV, who backed the existing management team led by chairman Clive Preston, to continue its previous successful strategy of taking struggling community pubs and revitalising them to create sustainable businesses.
Mr Preston told The Gazette: “It’s been an exciting five years during which we have demonstrated good wet-led pubs are a sound investment and provide a valuable local amenity.
“We have a highly professional management team who between them have decades of experience in the licensed trade and have the ability to source the best-located properties, fit them out to a very high standard and put in true value for money pricing.
“We are grateful for the unceasing support from the Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets and the help and guidance of our majority shareholder LGV.”
Lloyds Bank corporate markets area director Tim Rigg added: “Their ongoing success and growth is impressive, not least in the current economic climate.
“Their business success will undoubtedly have a ripple effect on the supply chain within the areas they operate in which is good news for the north of England.
“Amber’s continued growth strategy is possible on the strength of the funding support.”
Bill Priestley, a managing director at LGV, said: “We were delighted to make a further investment in Amber.”