Michael Ibbotson, an award-winning pub licensee, has launched a new pub company called Provenance Inns. The entrepreneur behind the Durham Ox in Crayke, North Yorkshire, has launched the new venture in concert with business partner Chris Blundell, with the aim of growing 10 sites in the next three to five years. It has already acquired two properties to add to the Durham Ox – the Carpenter’s Arms in Felixkirk and the Oak Tree in Helperby. The Carpenter’s Arms is to undergo a three-week refurbishment while the Oak Tree will undergo a more substantial development that will see around £1m spent on the property. Ibbotson aims to build a collection of freehold pubs offering real ale and food plus accommodation. The deals for the two pubs, one of which was bought from Punch Taverns, was partly financed through a loan from HSBC.