Heineken to invest £4m in Scottish pubs
Heineken has announced plans to invest £4m in upgrading its Star Pubs and Bars estate in Scotland this year.
The brewing giant said the move would create about 150 jobs in its leased pubs division north of the border.
A total of £2.8m will be invested in "transformational projects" at 17 of Heineken's 109 Scottish pubs.
More than a third of the overall investment will go towards community "locals", where food and coffee will be introduced.
The company said it was spending twice as much on its Scottish estate than last year.
Star Pubs and Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens said: "We regularly read about pubs closing down, but what people don't always appreciate is that well-run, invested pubs are thriving.
"Heineken is passionate about creating great pubs and supporting the licensees that run them."
He added: "Our investment is creating pubs that people want and use, enhancing local communities and benefiting local economies."
Earlier this year, Heineken was criticised by the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) over its bid to acquire part of Punch Taverns' pubs portfolio.
The SLTA alleged that Heineken was not committed to supporting smaller, community-based pubs.
Mr Mountstevens responded then by saying that the company had invested millions of pounds in its Scottish pubs over the past three years.
He said that had helped licensees to significantly improve their food offer, with new kitchens and flexible areas within pubs to cater for a wider range of events.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the proposed deal, and is due to make an initial decision next month.