650k hospitality jobs lost in 2020
8 December 2020
Stonegate reveals rent credits for tiers
9 December 2020

Ladhar Group acquires 16-site strong Sir John Fitzgerald

North East pub group Sir John Fitzgerald has been acquired in a multimillion-pound deal by the Ladhar Group according to Business Live​. 

The Group, which already operates sites including Pleased To Meet You and the Gunner Tavern in Newcastle, will 16 Sir John Fitzgerald’s 16 sites including Newcastle pubs the Bodega and the Bacchus to its portfolio, alongside venues in North Tyneside and Northumberland. 

The Fitzgerald family has run pubs in the north east since 1900. Since the early 1970s the company has been run by founder John Fitzgerald’s great grandson David Horgan.

The Group was initially built by brothers Amarjit and Baldev Ladhar but is now run by their sons Barry and Michael.

“We are absolutely delighted to own one of the city’s most iconic companies and to be able to keep it in our home city,” Barry Ladhar, director of the Group’s Crafted Projects leisure division which will incorporate the new pubs, told Business Live​.  

“The Fitzgerald family has given so much to Newcastle and we are both thankful and proud to have been entrusted with taking on the pub estate which has built up such a superb and well-deserved reputation. 

“We don’t need to tell anyone how difficult 2020 has been but we are very positive about the future. We are seeing tremendous investment in Newcastle and we want to continue to play a big part in that. 

“The purchase of Sir John Fitzgerald fits in with our ambitions to ensure the hospitality sector and night-time economy of Newcastle will once again thrive when the pandemic passes. 

“We recognise the importance of the generational family ties to the business and its development, which mirror our own experiences. We are delighted to be able to continue the family ethos that runs throughout the Sir John Fitzgerald group.”

Maureen Heffernan opens the Richmond Club 

Richmond’s first private members club has opened by 20-year resident and Leisure PR managing director Maureen Heffernan on the former site of the Hope pub after a six-figure investment.

Designed by the award-winning company Edwards McCoy, internationally acclaimed designer Sally Anne McCoy has transformed the building whilst enhancing and preserving its historic character.  

The venue is also the first in Richmond to install Clenzair the ground-breaking, virus killing, air purification system which it claims makes being inside as safe as being outside by neutralising 99% of viruses and bacteria in the air and on all surfaces.  

“We are incredibly excited to open the doors and welcome the first members to The Richmond Club,” Heffernan said. “At a time when hospitality is facing huge challenges it is refreshing to bring something different that enables business to continue away from home without the commute.

“We are delighted to have a few ‘firsts’ too, including Richmond’s first private members club, the first venue is the area to pour ABK Hell and Weissbier on draught as well as the first venue in the area to install the game-changing Clenzair system.”

Applications are still open for membership which includes a daytime only option (10am-6pm); full; couple and corporate options as well as a discount for the under 27’s. 

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Publicans stump up for New Forest pub freeholds 

As reported by the Southern Daily Echo​, Hampshire-based multiple operators Duane and Debbie Lewis have acquired the freeholds of a trio of pubs they run in the New Forest in a deal brokered by leisure property specialist Fleurets.

The couple were able to secure funds to complete the deals from the Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme through Cynergy Bank. 

The pair have operated the New Forest Inn in Emery Down for 12 years, the Trusty Servant in Minstead for close to a decade and the Royal Oak in Hilltop for five years. 

“With the ongoing situation with Covid-19, we are confident with the support of our loyal customers and our amazing staff we will safely get through to ‘the other side’ of this pandemic and come back better and stronger than before,” they explained.  

Looming £1.6bn unsettled hospitality rent bill threatens ‘new year bloodbath’ 

Industry trade body UKHospitality (UKH) has warned that the sector faces a ‘new year bloodbath of hospitality business failures’ unless rent moratoria are extended.

While UKH has highlighted that the Government has thus far shielded businesses from eviction and aggressive enforcement activity by landlords over the past nine months through the lease forfeiture and debt enforcement moratoria, the body has claimed that their expiration on 31 December could trigger widespread business failures and job losses. 

The trade body estimates that there is still an estimated £1.6bn in unsettled rent from the Covid crisis period hovering over the hospitality sector, which will increase further with December’s rent quarter payment date on 25 December. 

The debt burden is mostly held by otherwise viable businesses that cannot pay rent bills due to lack of revenue during weeks of closure and suppressed sales under the Government’s tier restrictions, which have severely hampered business’ ability to trade.

UKH now claims that many landlords have made it clear that they intend to use the end of the moratoria to issue winding-up petitions and eviction notices to tenants, both large high-street chains and individual businesses. 

Read more here​.

To find out more about pubs for sale, lease and tenancy visit our property site​​

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