Ei to invest £1.4m to transform historic Yorkshire bank into pub

Ei Group is to invest £1.4m in transforming the Grade II-listed Union Bank, Wakefield. An extensive refurbishment will see the historic Wakefield & Barnsley Union Bank building on Westgate, which dates back to 1874, lovingly restored to its former glory.

The building, due to open in May, will be the home of a new Craft Union pub, the Union Bank, as well as accommodating the Craft Union Pub Company support team and a suite of training and meeting facilities for use by the whole of the Ei Group.

Known as the Pub Support Hub, this scheme will generate 20 jobs for the local area and further demonstrates the Group’s ongoing commitment to reinvigorating pubs in local communities having invested over £350m in its estate during the past five years.

Simon Townsend, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Group’s ethos is to invest in great quality pubs at the heart of local communities; The Union Bank is a magnificent building that we’re very much looking forward to revitalising.

“Our people are the most important part of our business and this new space allows us to give them a base for the support and training they need to continually deliver exceptional customer experiences, share best practice and enhance their own personal development.”

The Union Bank will be Craft Union’s third pub in Wakefield, joining the Strafford Arms and the Raven. Craft Union, part of Ei Managed Operations, has rapidly grown to a nationwide estate of 285 pubs, since launching in May 2015.

Frazer Grimbleby, Craft Union Operations Director, added: “We were determined to stay true to our Northern roots when finding a suitable new site for our Craft Union support team, which is currently located in Preston. We’re excited about the Craft Union support team working alongside our colleagues from the wider Ei Group above one of our flagship pubs.”