The White Hart at Stratton St Margaret is about to undergo a £1.4 million transformation after pub owner Arkell’s Brewery begins work on a 24-room accommodation extension next week.
This is the latest investment in good quality hotel rooms by the Wiltshire brewery, and comes only two years after successfully adding accommodation to The Sun Inn at Coate Water.
Brewery director, George Arkell, said: “There is an acknowledged lack of good hotel room space in Swindon, particularly on the north side of the town, and an increasing number of people preferring the cosier atmosphere of a pub with rooms.
“The White Hart at Stratton is the ideal pub for rooms. It’s at a major Swindon gateway site, the car park is large and there is ample space.”
The construction will be undertaken by Swindon building contractor, Edmont. Arkell’s bought The White Hart at Stratton in 1878, extending it substantially in the 1920s. Nearly 100 years’ later, the pub is still going strong.
“Ongoing investment in our pubs is essential if we are to maintain standards and provide customers with the warm welcome they expect,” said George. “Over half our estate of pubs can now offer accommodation, which provides a valuable added revenue stream for our landlords as well as increased facilities for visitors to Swindon and the surrounding area.”
Batemans, the family brewer based in Lincolnshire, has recruited Linda Green as its new Retail Director. Linda’s appointment comes as Batemans makes acquisitions a major priority for the business, with the aim of increasing its managed houses in particular.
Batemans is looking to evolve its estate to be split equally between tenanted, managed and franchised operations, with a particular focus on sites that include a strong food, or accommodation offering, alongside cask ale, and have the capability to earn between £8,000 and £12,000 a week. South Yorkshire, East Midlands, North Cambridgeshire and Norfolk have been identified as the favoured locations for new Batemans sites.
Linda will be targeted with increasing the number of managed houses in the Batemans estate to 15 in three years, and then to 20 after five years. She joined Batemans this week with a main board position, and has over 20 years of executive level experience. In the pub and bar sector, she worked for Scottish & Newcastle for more than 10 years, helping to set up the food division at brands including Chef and Brewer and John Barras.
Stuart Bateman, Managing Director of Batemans, commented: “Linda’s appointment marks the start of an exciting time for Batemans as we look to dramatically increase our retail estate. This is a new role for us, and we believe Linda will prove invaluable in helping us to achieve our acquisition targets.”