Heineken is to invest £40m on the upgrade of around 570 pubs within its Star Pubs & Bars estate.

Neighbourhood locals are due to benefit the most from the investments, in line with changing consumer behaviour.

Since the start of the cost of living crisis, almost 60% of pubgoers have chosen to visit a pub which is closer to home, according to Heineken.

Six out of 10 pubgoers cited cost savings on transport as one of the reasons for opting to visit a local pub, while 52% said they were supporting their local pub in recognition of the pressures on local businesses.

The investments being made in almost a quarter of its pubs this year include 100 major site revamps, at a cost of around £200k each, which the company said would create around 600 new jobs.

Sites will benefit from new internal décor as well as garden makeovers. All significant projects will also include measures to boost sustainability credentials, in line with Heineken UK’s ambition to achieve a net zero carbon supply chain, including its pubs, by 2040.

Energy efficiency investments will include things like added insulation, motion-sensor lighting, and the installation of technology to turn off drinks fridges when no movement is detected behind the bar.

Lawson Mountstevens, managing director, Star Pubs & Bars, said: “We know from previous economic downturns that when customers’ disposable income is squeezed, they look for an exceptional experience when they go out.

“A great ambience and attractive surroundings are key and contribute to the value for money that pubgoers seek. It’s more important than ever to invest during uncertain times like these, to keep pubs thriving and meeting the needs of their communities.”

Last year, Heineken invested around £42m in its Star Pubs estate, with around 660 pubs benefiting from the capex programme in 2022.