Stone Property Ltd, the sister company of Shropshire brewer and pub operator Joule’s, has taken on its second free house.

The company, which is two-thirds owned by Joule’s, has acquired the Beehive in Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent, from Marstons..

The other third of Stone is owned by Matthew Phillips, of the eponymous firm of surveyors, who manages the business.

Steve Nuttall, managing director of Joule’s, told M&C: “Stone will buy pubs and lease back to the operator and Joule’s will supply via our free trade team. There is no formal tie and Joule’s sells in a completely free market. We do however offer investment to Stone tenants, in this case for the purpose of funding a refurbishment.

“We don’t have a specific target we will look on a case by case basis so it depends on what is available, our hope would be to add one or two a year.”

The first pub taken on by Stone was the New Inn Tutbury, also acquired from Marstons.