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East Midlands Chamber News

Mercia Marina signs up pub operator

Daryl Cockerill and John ThorntonMercia Marina has signed up an independent pub company to operate the bar-restaurant at its forthcoming retail, office and leisure development The Boardwalk.

Hillary & Scott will be opening what it describes as a “high quality, cosmopolitan” bar and restaurant at the 74-acre South Derbyshire marina.

The construction project for The Boardwalk began last month and is scheduled to open to the public in late summer 2014.

It will comprise the central bar and restaurant, built over two floors with additional outdoor seating overlooking the 24-acre lake. The restaurant will be flanked by retail units on each side and the remaining upper floor space will include four office units, all with views over the water.

Mercia Marina has already attracted two flagship retailers; The Butcher, The Baker, The Ice Cream Maker to operate a farm shop, and the clothing retailer Bluewater.

Daryl Cockerill, who founded Hillary & Scott two years ago with business partner Shane Holland, said he was excited about the new venture.

“It’s a big and exciting project for us. It’s our first new-build operation, which gives us the advantage of creating a venue with exactly the look and feel we are after. We’re definitely looking forward to offering visitors something very stylish, with quite a cosmopolitan feel, and maybe different to what they are currently used to.

“What attracted us to Mercia Marina, apart from the beautiful waterscape location, was our shared philosophy which focuses primarily on high quality.”

Hillary & Scott currently operates four other pub and restaurant establishments across the Midlands: The Star Inn, in West Leake, near Kegworth; The Nag’s Head, in Market Harborough; The Punch Bowl, in Stamford, Lincolnshire; and The Horseshoe Inn, in Shrewsbury.

Mr Cockerill has extensive experience in the brewery and pub industry, having worked in Burton-upon-Trent for Marston’s and Bass, as well as roles for Leicestershire-based Everards Brewery, and Greene King in Suffolk.

He has recently left his previous post at Charnwood Pub Company to concentrate on Hillary & Scott.

John Thornton, partner of Mercia Marina, said: “We’re delighted to have agreed this new partnership with Hillary & Scott. We were committed to finding a small, independent operator to run the bar-restaurant at The Boardwalk, as the larger chains tend not to have the individual character we were looking for.

“We were also impressed by the high quality of the company’s existing establishments, which perfectly mirrors the offer we had envisaged for our drinkers and diners.”

The bar-restaurant will have seating for approximately 150 people in addition to the large bar area for drinkers. Mr Cockerill will be appointing a manager and chef in the near future, though will remain closely involved in the running of the new venture.

The appointed main contractor for The Boardwalk construction is Davlyn Construction, of Derby.

The new development has been designed to complement the marina environment, with the use of locally-sourced stone, timber cladding and large amount of glazing.

The Boardwalk represents the first phase of a larger development, which could include more shops and eating and drinking establishments.

Enquiries about available retail and office space within The Boardwalk should be directed to Paul Rushton, of Rushton Hickman Ltd, on 01283 528002, or Matthew Phillips on 0121 3532757.

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