The co-founder of the With Neil Morrissey Pub Company plans to expand south within the next three to five years, MCA has learnt.

Richard Slingsby, one of the directors of the business, which operates the Plume of Feathers in Barlaston, Staffordshire, said locations within 45 minutes of the current premises are currently being scouted.

However, he revealed the long-term plan was to eventually end up with sites ‘at the north side of the M25 between the M40 and the M1’.

“This is our preferred sweet spot and meets our demographic profile,” Slingsby told the MCA. “Neil lives in north London and I live in south east Derbyshire. The one pledge when we took over the Plume was that Neil would be visible in the pubs. A line between his house and mine means, as we build the estate, that he has the opportunity to get around the locations and be as visible as possible.”

In the short-term, Slingsby said location number two would preferably be within a 30-45 minute drive of the Plume. This would “create benefits from the point of movement of employees, management and suppliers”, he said.

The format, Slingsby insisted, would follow the successful model of the Plume, a community destination pub which has a 55:45 wet dry split and has gone from serving 700 covers on average per week to 1,000.

“As most people are aware I love the great British pub,” Morrissey added. “We have a great team in place and I have a real desire to develop a number of ale houses that are at the heart of the community which we can all be proud of.”

The business’s management team consists of Good Karma Hospital and Men Behaving Badly actor Morrissey, Slingsby, former head chef and now director Bruce Mackie, general manager Luther Mattock and financial director John Sykes.

Last month the Plume of Feathers was a finalist in the Best Partnership Pub category of the Great British Pub Awards 2017, run by our sister title the Morning Advertiser.