We care…about our communities

Estates Manager John Widdowson reveals we’ve got grand designs of our own – bringing unlicensed properties back to life and returning them to the community.

It’s not just turning old buildings into much-needed new ones that gets John and Jo Inwood, Property Finance Administrator, up in the morning. What makes them really happy is knowing that they’ve transformed lives – that’s because Estates means more than just bricks and mortar.

John explained: “It all started a few years ago. We’d acquired some offices as part of a Marston’s site. They were small and impractical, difficult to rent out. With the help of the local council, we transformed them into flats – and our renovation idea was born.”


The buildings are usually bought to protect our existing sites and assets, or acquired as parts of larger pub or business site deals. We own about 400 of these unlicensed buildings across the UK and the team transforms them into low-cost housing, offices or shops. It provides vital income for Marston’s, as well as support for the local area.

John and teammate Jo manage the whole process, from locating the sites and agreeing on renovation work, to working with estate agents and finding tenants.


It’s all part of our ongoing investment in local communities as we offer refurbished low-cost housing to residents and office space to local authorities. And it also gives the Estates team the opportunity to deliver great benefits for Marston’s. That’s because the rent from these properties brings in additional funds each year which we can then invest back into the business. This adds even more value to Marston’s and our growing estate.

Just as we offer quality products and services at our pubs and breweries, we’re offering the best quality, value for money and customer service through our Estates department too. Recent projects have seen the team create a brand-new flat from unused attic space, and transform a derelict shop into a thriving estate agent. Larger buildings can often be converted into flats with ground-floor shops, providing multiple new homes and boosting the local economy.

“Our contractors are constantly working to breathe new life into neglected properties and reinvigorate their surroundings,” added John. “Having the chance to restore these unoccupied spaces is incredibly rewarding. It’s fantastic to be able to make a real difference to our communities and have such a positive impact on them.”


“We’re delighted Marston’s is breathing new life into underused buildings, particularly vacant space above retail units and shop fronts in the conservation area,” said Stephen Alexander, Head of Planning at City of Wolverhampton Council.

“Work they’ve done in the city centre is already helping to attract more people, making it safer in the evenings.

“We’ve also had many positive comments about their new HQ and the neighbouring refurbishments that have increased the vibrancy and vitality of the area. It’s now really on the up and we really appreciate the significant part Marston’s has played in that,” he added.


Watch our mini-film now to find out how showing we care is making us ‘The Place to Be’…


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