Marston’s marches on

Marston’s PLC is an independent brewing and pub retailing business comprising tenanted, leased, franchised and managed public houses.

Marston’s operates a range of establishments, all located within the heart of many thriving communities, and works towards a business model that continues to create new opportunities within the industry.

As one of the busiest companies within the property development sector, Marston’s has been instrumental in buying and developing new pubs throughout the UK. Marston’s has bought and developed more than 50 new build pubs, averaging £3 million a site, including its latest site The Pine Marten in Dunbar and forthcoming The Steam Wheeler in Braehead.

Marston’s began building new public houses in 2003 and continues to be a market leader, expanding its estate through experiences acquired on each new development. The company is led by property director Ed Hancock, who also oversees the brand’s ongoing investment portfolio, which includes 2,100 pubs.

Discussing the continued success of the Marston’s strategy, Ed Hancock, said:

“We have found ourselves in quite a unique position in that we are developer and end user in one. Our criteria are quite clear – we want freehold sites in specific locations and we want a pipeline to keep our programme rolling. It is all about scale and fleetness of foot and we can provide both.

“The team here has a tremendous sense of achievement as we see all sides of the market from M&A, buying and developing and the other end of the scale the sale of the lower end of the estate, which is creating cash to generate new build sites, whilst overall upgrading the quality of the total estate.

“We learn from every project and we make sure we repeat the good stuff and don’t repeat the mistakes. One of the best aspects about our structure is simply that we have all the influencers and decision makers in one place and they are directly connected to the end user.”

One of the key factors in Marston’s success is the team of professionals who remain focused on making the sites work for each end user. The company’s continued progression also hinges on a great reputation for swift and efficient work.

Ed commented:

“We get things moving quickly and don’t waste time. Innovation is crucial, along with a demonstration of understanding customers. We see the future of the pub/restaurant sector to be a merging of retailing skills and design execution; we are creating a modern pub for a new generation of pub goers. Exciting times in an exciting sector.”

Recently, Marston’s has been investing in new public houses in Scotland including the aforementioned The Pine Marten and Steam Wheeler sites, however despite a new country with which to make its mark, the company has no plans to alter its winning formula for the Scottish market.

Marston’s Managing Director, Pete Dalzell, commented:

“Customers worldwide want great service in a great environment, served by great staff and great value for money. Scotland is no different against those measures.”

In addition to its success with new build projects, Marston’s also plays an integral part in preserving many listed buildings. The company consults with many important bodies, including English Heritage, to maintain its diverse heritage.

The Pine Marten

The Pine Marten is a brand new 180-capacity pub and restaurant in Dunbar, which opened its doors in February 2013. The new pub offers up an extensive menu, which includes fresh rotisserie-cooked chicken, along with a fantastic selection of ales, wines and soft drinks.

Commenting about the new pub, Cheryl Evans of Marston’s Inns and Taverns, said:

“This is an exciting time for the pub. We believe The Pine Marten will be a hub for the community that not only offers great food and drink, but also excellent value for money and fantastic customer service.”

The Pine Marten is Marston’s first public house to make its debut in Scotland and presents customers with a family friendly environment, including a play area for children. Set in the historic East Lothian town of Dunbar – birthplace of famous conservationist John Muir – the pub is perfectly located within a setting steeped in history.

As well as providing Dunbar with a fantastic new eating and drinking establishment, The Pine Marten has boosted employment opportunities within the area, by employing 30 bar, restaurant and kitchen staff. All new team members – which included kitchen and front-of-house staff – completed a comprehensive training programme to ensure they were ready for the pub’s grand opening. Training included pre-opening programme, e-learning courses and two nationally recognised qualifications.

Carter Lauren was the main contractor on The Pine Marten, whilst Axiom Architects provided all architectural services.

The Steam Wheeler

Following hot on the heels of The Pine Marten, is The Steam Wheeler which opens in Braehead spring 2013. Carter Lauren was once again the main contractor on The Steam Wheeler, whilst Axiom Architects was the architect.

The Steam Wheeler is a 180-capacity pub, offering fresh carvery meals, an extensive menu, quality ales, wines and soft drinks. Just like The Pine Marten, The Steam Wheeler is set to offer a family friendly environment, including children’s play area.

The new pub will employ 35 members of staff and is currently recruiting for exceptional people to fill a variety of roles. In addition, through Marston’s Inns and Taverns career path, staff members will have access to modern apprenticeships and NVQs, as well as development opportunities through keyholder supervisory and chef programmes.

Work continues to make great progress on The Steam Wheeler and is currently on schedule to reach completion in mid-May.

The Steam Wheeler is part of Marston’s ongoing new-build scheme to provide top quality pubs across Britain. For more information about the Marston’s estate, please visit:

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