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27 April 2004

Candidates announced for waterside pub scheme

British Waterways (BW) has short listed three candidates in its search for a partner to create a nationwide waterside pubs business.

BW initially announced its interest in the scheme last November and has now invited Scottish & Newcastle, Punch Taverns and the Brains Mansford Consortium to submit detailed proposals. The public corporation, responsible for running the UK’s 2,000-mile network of canals and rivers, has a waterside portfolio in excess of £400m.

James Froomberg, BW’s commercial director, said: “We received many strong initial submissions for our waterside pubs business and are pleased to have short listed three candidates with first-class credentials.

“Their proposals for the partnership will help us to maximise our commercial income and to increase the range and quality of pubs on our waterside, enhancing leisure opportunities and attracting more visitors.”

Under the British Waterside Pub Partnership, the corporation hopes to both develop new pubs alongside BW’s canals and rivers and improve the facilities and performance of the existing pubs that BW currently owns.

According to WB figures, around 10 million people visit the UK canals and rivers every year, spending nearly £1bn annually.

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