Brighton Pier Group has appointed Duncan Garrood, formerly of Bill’s and Punch Taverns, as a senior independent non-executive director.

Garrood has significant expertise in the consumer and leisure sectors with a career spanning over 40 years, and is currently CEO of Empiric Student Property, the FTSE 250 provider of premium accommodation and services to students.

He was CEO of Ten Entertainment, one of the UK’s leading family entertainment companies between 2018 and 2020.

Prior to that, he was CEO of Bill’s Restaurants, overseeing 80 sites and 3,000 employees.

He was CEO at Punch Taverns Limited (formerly Punch Taverns plc), then the UK’s second largest pub company with over 3,500 pubs.

He has also spent the past six years as chairman of Small Beer Brew Co, an independent low alcohol brewer in South London.

Anne Ackord, chief executive officer of Brighton Pier, commented: “The board is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Duncan Garrood as senior independent non-executive director. His significant sector and listed company experience will no doubt provide an invaluable contribution to the business and plans for growth.”

Alongside Brighton Pier, the Luke Johnson-backed group also operates late night bars and mini golf courses.