Greene King Pub Partners is to roll-out a beerhouse concept called Local Hero aimed at boosting wet-led local pubs within its tenanted estate. The company has trialled the concept at the Waggon & Horses in Braintree, Essex, where takings have risen from £2,500 to £7,500-a-week. The concept will be offered to pubs that have seen a slippage in barrelage in recent years. There is a focus on provenance and local sourcing at Local Hero, with licensees able to source micro-brews directly within 20 miles to take up 50% of the cask ale offer alongside Greene King ales. Licensees are offered a 25% discount on existing rent and receive £100-a-barrel discount on Greene King cask products - but pay a 6% royalty on net turnover. Pubs will have an EPOS system and are subject to quarterly quality audits. Menus need to be signed off by Greene King to check they put a focus on locally-sourced items. The first pub even has a barter scheme in place where locals can swap vegetables for beer - to engender a strong relationship and a sense of engagement with the local community. Head of Pub Partners Simon Longbottom said: “This is still a tenancy with a side agreement that overlays it. It’s about promoting individuality, flair and local expertise.” The first pub in Braintree saw a £30,000 refurbishment investment - and now hosts Campaign for Real Ale meetings. Greene King has a list of 700 microbrewers operating in the UK, enough to provide the vast majority of the estate a choice of at least ten micro-brewers to source supply from within a 20-mile limit. The company believes that there may well be room for several Local Hero pubs in a number of markets. Greene King’s second Local Hero pub is set to be in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and be let to local micro brewer Royal Tunbridge Wells Brewing Company - it’s set a target of opening up to 50 Local Hero pubs. M&C Report opinion Greene King is following Leicestershire brewer and retailer Everards, Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns in looking to allow pubs a free-of-tie element on micro-brewer products. Everards has around 20 pubs let to micro-brewers as part of its Project William scheme - and Enterprise is understood to have let more than a dozen pubs to microbrewers since it launched its free-of-tie agreement. The Greene King scheme provides licensees with more retail input from the company. It offers greater sharing of upside between the company and licensees while mitigating licensees fixed costs. It’s another example of innovation within the tenanted market as companies seek imaginative solutions to helping licensees improve their offer.