PUB operator Marston’s is unveiling plans to build up to ten outlets in Scotland next year as the firm makes its first move north of the Border.
The company, which owns more than 2,000 pubs in England and Wales, will spend about £25 million on the expansion and will create about 500 full- and part-time jobs.
Construction is under way at the first site – on the outskirts of Dunbar, in East Lothian – with work expected to begin next month on two further pubs, at Braehead near Glasgow and in Edinburgh.
Sites in Dunfermline and Forfar will follow in January, with the firm understood to be close to securing permission to build a further four pubs in the Central Belt.
Pete Dalzell, managing director of Marston’s pub operations, told The Scotsman: “We plan to build between 20 and 25 pubs each year throughout the UK and I would hope that between three and five of those each year will be in Scotland.
“Our research tells us that Scots make a clear distinction between pubs where you go to drink and restaurants where you go to eat. So the challenge for us is to build pubs where you can take the family for food but where you would also want to go to enjoy good beer.”
Marston’s owns five breweries south of the Border but said that it would also offer beers made by Scottish micro-breweries at its outlets north of the Border.
The sites in Scotland will be managed directly by the company. At present Marston’s has about 500 managed pubs and 500 franchised sites, with the rest run by tenants.