£375K investment to give the Malt & Shovel a new lease of life

Star Pubs & Bars, Heineken’s pub business, together with local entrepreneur Neil Pickles of Pickles Pubs, are investing £375,000 in a complete refurbishment of The Malt Shovel in Harden.

On completion, the pub will be renamed The Malt, and transformed into what they believe will be one of the best food pubs in the area, offering great cask ale and coffee.

Funds are being spent on a complete overhaul of the interior and exterior of the pub, which will re-open on June 26 with the creation of five jobs.

The Malt will retain its traditional character but will benefit from a larger bar and an orangery offering diners great views over the garden.

The additional seating will enable the pub to cater for the improved quality and increased quantity of food and ale which will be served. 

Four open fires, stone flags and wooden floors are all being reinstated to provide character and a warm and welcoming environment. 

Separate areas are also being created for different usages, including a comfortable room dedicated to local history where coffees can be drunk.

Neil said:

“I know the area well and immediately recognised the potential of The Malt.

“It is a great pub which has sadly lacked investment.

“Star Pubs & Bars and Pickles Pubs are together investing in restoring the pub to its former glory.

“The intention is to give the pub back to the community and cater for everyone’s needs – families, cyclists, walkers, riders, you name it.

“Dogs will be welcome in the bar and dog bowls will be available.

“We’re even installing tethering posts with hay and a water trough for horses.

“The new gardens, the largest outdoor pub seating area for miles, will also be put to good use for events like weddings and christenings. 

“It is an excellent venue for community to use how they want.

“In days gone by pubs fulfilled all sorts of roles. 

“The Malt still has an old cell harking back to when it acted as the village gaol.

“That’s a service, however, we don’t intend to provide!”

Chris Jowsey, trading director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: 

“We’re delighted that an experienced and successful pub operator like Neil has taken on The Malt and that together we are investing in its long term future.

“It’s tough running a pub with increasing competition for consumer’s disposable income.

“To be successful in today’s market, pubs must improve their offering to customers and this means investing in pubs like The Malt to create a welcoming and relevant environment for all customers.

“Heineken is a passionate supporter of the great British pub.

“We have invested £600m purchasing and improving our Star Pubs & Bars estate since 2010 and this year will be investing more than ever in our pubs.

“We now own around 1,285 pubs like The Malt, the majority of which are operated by small independent businesses.

“What we need is real investment, innovation and professionalism in the pub sector to continue to attract customers back to the great British pub.”

Neil Pickles



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