Edinburgh pub chain dodge 100 job losses

Plans for two new pubs plunged pub chain PG Taverns (Scotland) Limited dangerously close to financial ruin threatening 100 jobs and the loss of popular pubs including The Jolly Botanist, The Doghouse, The Mousetrap, The King's Wark and the Fork & Field.

The Jolly Botanist
The Jolly Botanist

But licensed insolvency specialists Wilson Field appointed administrators Kelly Burton and Lisa Hogg to negotiate a deal to save the bars and jobs.

The demise has been blamed on spiralling costs and significant delays in setting up The Jolly Gin and Craft in Falkirk and The Grape in East Calder which sparked cashflow problems as the two new pub openings stalled.

PG Taverns also blamed "poor weather" for lower customer footfall in the existing pubs.

Fork and Field

Most Popular

    Matters came to a head when the company was served with a winding-up petition by HMRC due to a significant historical backlog in tax payments.

    Administrator Kelly said: “These pubs are well-known in Edinburgh and the surrounding area and employ around 100 staff. We have worked closely with the landlord and bank to achieve the best outcome for all concerned parties. This in turn was dependent on keeping the businesses trading to preserve ongoing customer loyalty to maintain the goodwill value of the pubs”.

    New company Clubhouse Bars Ltd has now been set up and is operating under licence from the administrators.

    The Joint Administrators are working closely with the bank, the landlord and Clubhouse to secure the long term future of the venues while will continue to be run by the same management team, offering the same levels of service to existing and new customers.

    Kelly added: “It is always good to see businesses survive after facing difficulties. As well as saving 100 jobs, this process mitigated preferential claims for wages, holiday pay, redundancy, etc., estimated at almost £130,000.

    "In this case with continued support from the landlord and the cooperation of the bank and the staff, we were able to work with all parties to reach an outcome which was in the best interests of creditors and at the same time preserve the business."