Pubco lines up its next revamps

West of Scotland outlets to be relaunched in new year

Christine Knox outside The Osprey, soon to become The Spateston Inn

PUB company Star Pubs & Bars has committed to transforming two of its Scottish pubs with a combined investment of nearly £800,000.

The Osprey in Spateston, Renfrewshire, and The Howard Arms in Kilmarnock are the latest of the company’s units to be earmarked for major refurbishment projects.

The Osprey is to be completely overhauled in a £494,000 project which will see both its interior and exterior updated. Larger windows will be installed, new signage and lighting fitted and its garden restored with landscaping, plants and furniture.

Inside, a new kitchen extension will allow the introduction of an all-day food menu, while a new selection of drinks will include craft beers and cocktails.

The pub is due to reopen as The Spateston Inn in March with new licensee Christine Knox at the helm.

Knox, a Spateston local and experienced licensee, has worked in pubs for three decades.

She said: “I’ve known this pub my whole life – I grew up round the corner, and it was our local and my dad’s favourite.

“It’s the only pub I ever wanted, so it’s a dream come true to be taking it on.

“I want to make it the hub of the community, just as it was in my childhood, and for it to be a place where everyone feels welcome.

“I live a stone’s throw away, and I see it as my chance to give back.”

Campbell Dorward, area manager at Star Pubs & Bars, said Knox “has the highest standards and a fantastic local knowledge”.

“She knows what residents want and need and she will do a great job at The Spateston Inn,” he said.

A £300,000 refurb of Kilmarnock pub The Howard Arms, which is subject to a new operator leasing the pub, will aim to broaden the appeal of that venue.

Enlarged windows, a fireplace and log burner and a new lounge and dining area will all be added during the refurb, as well as a new kitchen, new toilets and a revamped cellar.

Dorward said the changes will “provide many more reasons for people to visit”.

“The funding is in place, now we just need to find the right person to take over the pub,” he said.

“The Howard Arms is ideal for someone who’s experienced in the hospitality trade, knows and loves Kilmarnock and wants to lease a brand new pub they can put their mark on.”