Pub operator named one of Britain's most inspiring companies

North East and Yorkshire pub operator Wear Inns has been named one of Britain’s most inspiring companies

John Weir, MD of Wear Inns
John Weir, MD of Wear Inns

North East and Yorkshire pub operator Wear Inns has been named one of Britain’s most inspiring companies.

The London Stock Exchange has highlighted the company in its report, 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain, which celebrates the country’s most dynamic and fastest-growing small and medium-sized businesses.

It comes in a year which has seen Wear Inns turnover surge by more than 50% after the acquisition of 11 premises taking its total estate to 26 pubs in the North East and Yorkshire, operating from its headquarters in Castle Eden, County Durham.

Founded in 2006 by local entrepreneurs John Weir and John Sands Wear Inns has 26 pubs in the North East and Yorkshire employing 265 people.

They include the Cross Keys in Washington, The Elephant in Ashington and Black Bull in Morpeth. The company’s turnover for the year to March rose to £11.75m from £7.4m in 2012 – an increase of 58.4% and is on target to reach £13m by March next year.

Managing director John Weir said: “To be highlighted in such a prestigious list as the LSE 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain is a great honour. We are the only hospitality or pub operator from the region to be listed and one of only eight in the UK.

“We are very proud to be developing our business in the North East and Yorkshire and delighted we are seen as a role model for others to follow.

“It has been a challenging year but our investments are showing some good results.

“We are now looking at further acquisitions – concentrating on bigger pubs with a larger turnover without compromising our values of high amenities and providing great value, all day every day.”

Since Weir and the company’s chairman John Sands formed Wear Inns in 2006, the workforce has grown from 105 to 265.

To be considered for inclusion in the LSE report, businesses had to demonstrate a turnover of between £6m and £250m in the last 12 months and a minimum of three years trading. Companies were not only measured on demonstrable revenue growth and job creation but on factors including patents filed, growth in office space and performance against sector peers, giving what the LSE say was a truer reflection of the highest-performing companies.

Wear Inns raised £10m in May 2012, £2m from NVM Private Equity and £8m from the Business Growth Fund. It bought nine pubs from Tattershall Castle Group the same day as the funding completed for £6.4m and £400,000 of costs. In September last year it also bought two pubs from Orchid for £860,000.


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