Cirrus Inns, a new pub company featuring Mark Askew, outgoing executive head chef at Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) and Polly Dyson, former finance director at Geronimo Inns, has been set up with plans to create an estate of up to 50 pubs with accommodation across the UK countryside, M&C Report understands.

The group, which is backed by private investors, is looking to acquire, develop and operate freehold pubs with rooms and plans to grow an estate of between 40 to 50 sites over the next five years.

It is thought that the Admiral Codrington pub in London’s Chelsea, could become the group’s first site, but further openings and acquisitions will be focused on countryside locations.

Askew, who will leave GRH at the end of this year, has co-founded the new venture and will oversee operations, with Ella de Beer, formerly operations manager at the Meredith Group, becoming operations director.

Dyson, who left Geronimo earlier this year, will become finance director at the new group, which will officially launch in early 2012.

Co-founder Charles Butterworth, who is currently a managing director at Experian and a non-executive director at Phones4u, will become non-executive chairman. He was previously chief executive of Vodafone Ireland.

Jean Taylor, who was previously a regional estates executive at Punch Taverns, has taken up the role of property director.

A chief executive/managing director is set to be named early next year.