North East-based pub and leisure operator Roseberry Leisure is looking to roll out its first leased pub concept, with Star Pubs & Bars, and is also close to securing a six-strong package of freehold pubs, MCA has learnt.

Managing director Michael Roseberry told MCA the The Fellsider in Whickham, Gateshead, would evolve the offer from the group’s first leased pub with Star – The Traveller’s Rest in Witton Gilbert, County Durham – and said he was talking to the pubco about rolling out the model further.

Roseberry Leisure operates a diverse portfolio encompassing eight freehold pubs, a hotel, equestrian centre and Rainton Meadows Arena, Houghton Le Spring.

The Traveller’s Rest was the group’s first leasehold site in its almost 50 year history.

Roseberry told MCA: “We have always been in the freehold business because it gives us the control we needed. But the opportunity came about with Star and because we have had that longstanding relationship we decided to look at it.

“What it has done is give us another strand to our business and another way to grow. The concept we have for the Fellsider is one I’m very keen to roll out.”

The pub, which will open in the third week of July following a £275,000 joint investment, is based around a classic British pub menu in a modern country style décor. The pub will be able to cater for 120 covers.

Roseberry said he was still keen to develop the freehold side of the business and was in advanced negotiations on six individual freehold pubs.