The Southsea Village pub to undergo £60,000 refurbishment as owners secure £1.2m finance deal
A PUB in Southsea is to undergo a ‘much-needed facelift’ during lockdown as its owners secure a financing deal to pump capital into their chain of venues.
The Urban Village Pub Company will revamp its flagship venue, The Southsea Village, over the next three weeks with the aim of reopening on December 3.
The refurbishment will add an interactive darts board, a shuffleboard and a foosball table.
It comes as the company, which manages eight venues across the south east, has secured a £1.2m deal for working capital and refinancing from mid-sized lender ThinCats.
Businessmen Ian Grundy and Gavin Drew opened the Southsea venue – which used to be Owens – in 2017 and it now needs ‘a bit of a tidy-up’.
Gavin continued: ‘The Southsea Village was our first site back in 2017 and has served us well.
‘We are not looking to dramatically change the offer albeit we may introduce a couple of new elements – but we will be giving the site a much-needed facelift.’
The pub is also submitting plans to Portsmouth City Council for a covered and heated outside area at the front of the venue.
The Urban Village Pub Company plans to open its Guildhall Village venue in central Portsmouth for a food and drink takeaway service later in the week, with a launch date to be confirmed.
The takeaway scheme is the latest change of plans for the business, as it continues to contend with ‘very frustrating’ restrictions needed to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
Gavin added: ‘We’re very frustrated by the continuing change and restrictions.
‘We don’t know how long we’ll be in lockdown for – we’re having to re-plan every week, virtually.
‘But we’re staying optimistic.’
‘We’ve been frustrated because there’s not scientific evidence to suggest the spread of the virus has been caused by the hospitality sector.’
Public Health England data suggests that less than six per cent of cases between July and September were linked to the hospitality sector – compared to almost 20 per cent in educational settings and 17 per cent in care homes.
The pub chain has secured additional capital in order to support the business throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Gavin said: ‘We needed a bit more working capital because of the changing situation we are in.
‘After the initial summer lockdown, our sites responded exceptionally well with strong like for like growth.
‘We are very much looking forward to working with ThinCats in 2021 and getting back to full capacity and more.’