Across the UK it is often the brewery which firmly places its pubs at the heart of community.
And now iconic 174 year old family business, Joseph Holt, has added to its estate – with the purchase of Thornberries in Alkrington. A pub which according to Richard Kershaw, Chief Executive of Joseph Holt and great great grandson of its eponymous founder, already has all the hallmarks of a Joseph Holt venue.
“Thornberries is already very much a community pub and is so much more than just a place to have a drink or something to eat. It's a place for charity events, social groups and other community gatherings – all the things which mark out our pubs as places which are central to the local areas they serve."
“Admittedly Thornberries looks a little tired which is why we have plans for its redevelopment. The potential however is enormous. As such we are planning a full refurbishment inside and out, optimising existing unused space as well as creating a stunning beer garden. But at the centre of this will be a pub which serves award winning ales, delicious food and which is a key part of the community.”
Thornberries has been a popular fixture in the area for many years and thanks to a seamless sale, has remained open after the takeover by Joseph Holt, an independent business which has been in the same family for six generations.
The brewery, which will be celebrating its 175th anniversary next year, is now making plans to redevelop Thornberries - but won`t be making any changes before talking to customers and finding out what they want from the pub. In the meantime, it will remain open with business as usual.
The purchase and subsequent refurbishment of Thornberries will cost close to one and a half million pounds. It's envisaged that the pub will relaunch around February of next year following refurbishment in January to mark the brewery's 175th anniversary.
Joseph Holt , which was founded in 1849, owns 127 pubs across the North West. However, as Richard Kershaw explains, the company is constantly looking for places where there is a `gap` in the geography of its estate.
“Although we already own pubs in Blackley and Middleton, we didn`t have one in Alkrington. Joseph Holt is a family business and as such as are so aware of our history and of the role we play in the communities where we operate which is why location is so important to us. For example, to mark our 175th anniversary we have launched an appeal to raise £500,000 for the Christie Hospital and the Radium Institute. Throughout the year we are always arranging initiatives to help the areas around our pubs - recent projects include a campaign to put defibrillators in our pubs, a school uniform collection for those struggling with the cost, and warm spaces with free food during the cold winter months."
“We plan to carry on this tradition at Thornberries and that`s why we aren't rushing into any changes before talking to customers. We are delighted that this lovely pub is now a part of the Joseph Holt family.”