Union says pubs across Swindon and South West in danger of pulling last pints

By Barrie Hudson - 19 April 2024


The GMB union claims more than 400 Stonegate pubs across the South West could close after the company issued what the union termed a profit warning.

However, Stonegate  denies issuing any such warning.

The company, owned by TDR Capital, operates more than 4,000 venues nationwide, including Swindon pubs the Waiting Room, the Goddard Arms, the Wyvern Tavern and the Shield and Dagger, and also the Cross Keys Inn in Royal Wootton Bassett and the King and Queen in Highworth.

The GMB issued a statement saying that, as it predicted earlier this year Stonegate said there was no guarantee it could continue as a going concern, as it struggled to refinance a £2.2bn debt. 

GMB National Officer Nadine Houghton said: "TDR bosses are private equity gamblers- playing fast and loose with people’s jobs and lives. 

“When their risky ventures go wrong, they swan off to their next project, leaving workers and communities to pick up the pieces. 

“Now, hundreds of much loved pubs across the South West are in serious danger of pulling their last pint. 

“It’s a disgrace.” 

Stonegate issued a statement in turn, saying: “We are really pleased with the performance of the business in 2023, which included a sector-leading Christmas trading period. 

"We have delivered a rise in revenue and a significant increase in profitability. We have been very clear that we continue to work towards achieving our long-term balance sheet goals, with the successful refinancing of a portion of our estate in December marking a significant strategic step towards this. 

"We would also like to assure our employees and partners that no venues are at risk as a result of this process.

“TDR Capital has been and continues to be a supportive investor in Stonegate - developing the business over the last fourteen years into the UK’s largest pub company with 4,500 great venues across the country.”

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