Sunderland businessman’s Wear Inns pub chain named among most inspiration firm’s in the country

The Black Bull pub, Front Street, East Boldon.
The Black Bull pub, Front Street, East Boldon.
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AN East Durham pub firm has been named as one of Britain’s 1,000 most inspiring businesses.

The London Stock Exchange has highlighted the performance of Castle Eden-based Wear Inns in its report, 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain, celebrating 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 per cent after the acquisition of 11 premises, taking its total estate across the North East and Yorkshire.

Founded in 2006 by Sunderland-born CEO John Weir and chairman John Sands, the firm operates 26 pubs, including The Cross Keys in Washington; the Britannia Inn in Houghton; the New Inn in Durham; The Black Bull in East Boldon; the Lambton Arms Hotel in Chester-le-Street; Greens and The Prior in Sunderland.

Over the last six years, the workforce has grown from 105 to 265.

Turnover for the year to March rose to £11.75million from £7.4million in 2012 – an increase of 58.4 per cent and on target to reach £13million by March next year.

“To be highlighted in such a prestigious list as the LSE 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain is a great honour,” said John Weir.

“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.”

To be considered for inclusion in the LSE report, businesses had to demonstrate a turnover of between £6millon-£250million 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 £10million in May 2012 – £2million from NVM Private Equity and £8million from the Business Growth Fund and bought nine pubs from Tattershall Castle Group. In September last year it bought two pubs from Orchid.