July 2021


Pug Pubs expand into Shipston with Duplex Fund support

Pugs Pubs was launched by Matt Crowther in 2012 when the Fat Pug was set-up in Leamington. That was followed two years later by the Royal Pug in Leamington and the Procaffeinate coffee shop in the town in 2016. In 2019, the Black Pug was established in Warwick as the Beer and Coffee Company continued to grow in Warwickshire, employing a total of 108 members of staff.

The Challenge

A pub, B&B, restaurant and coffee house, in need of investment, became available in Church Street in Shipston-on-Stour. It was different to others in the group as there were five ensuite bedrooms with a bar and restaurant, but it needed a total refurbishment.

The Solution

Matt sourced the finance through Martin Nwangwa, account manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub. Martin recommended the Duplex Investment Fund, a combined grant and loan initiative between the CWLEP, Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and Coventry & Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust to help with support such as buying machinery and vehicles, carrying out refurbishments or purchasing premises. The project is funded by £3.9 million of grants from the Government’s Local Growth Fund and the CWLEP. Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council are each investing a further £2 million in the scheme which is managed by CWRT.

The Result

The newly-named Lazy Pug opened in June, 2021, with a completely new look both inside and outside following a £160,000 investment which included £75,000 from the Duplex Investment Fund and has created 18 jobs. New furniture, lighting and decorations were added throughout the public areas and five boutique bedrooms added following a complete refurbishment.

Matt said: “We have refurbished the Lazy Pug to a standard that matches our existing three pubs and are really pleased with the work. Little investment had been made in the building over the last few years but we believe we have restored it so that it fits in with this beautiful town.

“I contacted Martin from the Growth Hub because I applied for a grant but he advised me that it wasn’t suitable for our needs, so he suggested the Duplex Investment Fund and introduced me to Andrew at CWRT. Andrew provided guidance on the way the scheme works as well as help with completing the forms and I really appreciated his guidance and help. Working with CWRT made the whole process really smooth.

“Martin has also been really helpful and we have built a business relationship since he keeps me up-to-date with everything that is going on that we need to know about to keep growing our businesses.”

Andrew Scarborough, head of lending at CWRT, said: “It is great to help a local business to grow like this, particularly at this stage of the pandemic. Duplex is a good solution for businesses needing low-cost finance for capital investment. The combination of loan and grant is ideal for this type of refurbishment and for those businesses who lack the spare cash to invest and grow.”

Martin Nwangwa, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, added: “It has been a pleasure to work with Matt throughout this project and we are here to provide businesses however small or large with impartial funding advice. Sometimes businesses are not sure where to go for information but at the Growth Hub, our experienced team is here to help on a wide range of subjects to help grow businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire.”

Warwickshire County Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: “With an increasing number of people looking to take breaks and holidays within the UK in the near future, I'm pleased to see Warwickshire's hospitality & tourist venues increasing and improving their offer. The benefits to the local economy will not only be felt through the increased visitors that this will bring to the area but also through the jobs created at the larger venues, reinvigorating employment possibilities in a sector that has been hard hit by the pandemic.”

For further information or to apply for the Duplex Investment Fund, call Andrew Scarborough or Leah Blocksidge on 02476 551 777 or email andrew.scarborough@cwrt.uk.com or leah.blocksidge@cwrt.uk.com


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