Amber Taverns, the Preston-based operator of wet-led freehold pubs, has secured £5m in new funding to enable it to push towards its aim of operating a 100-strong estate by 2014. The new funding for the company, which currently operates 70 pubs across the North of England, comes in the form of a £4m revolving credit facility (RCF) from Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Merseyside plus £1m in loan notes from private equity backer LGV Capital (LGV). Amber, which is led by chairman Clive Preston and managing director James Baer, now aims to add 30 new sites over the next two to three years, which will create 300 new jobs. The group, which was founded in 2005, is understood to be “actively pursuing” sites in the Midlands, and could eventually buy pubs in the south, as it eyes expansion outside its heartland. LGV, the original backers of Enterprise Inns, backed a management buy-out of Amber last October. Preston said: “It’s been an exciting five years during, which we have demonstrated time after time that good wet led pubs are a sound investment and provide a valuable local amenity. “We have a highly professional management team who between them have decades of experience in the licensed trade and have the ability to source the best located properties, fit them out to a very high standard and put in true value for money pricing. We are grateful for the unceasing support from the Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets and the help and guidance of our majority shareholder LGV.” Bill Priestley, managing director at LGV said: “We were delighted to make a further investment in Amber to support the management team in its expansion plans. Since we first invested, this time last year, the business has gone from strength to strength and has made a number of successful acquisitions, whilst generating very healthy like-for-like sales growth in its mature estate.”