Waterside Pub Partnership (WPP), the joint venture between Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (S&NPC) and British Waterways to run canal and riverside pubs, has fallen into administration after failing to secure further financing. Lloyds Banking Group has appointed Price Waterhouse Coopers as administrators to WPP and S&NPC will no longer act as managing agents for the 17 pubs affected. Last month British Waterways bought 10 of the highest earning pubs in the partnership from WPP for £9m, which was used to reduce WPP’s bank borrowings. The acquisition is expected to generate £675,000 of income per year for BW’s waterways, a 7.5% return on investment. Set up in 2004, the WPP started with 29 sites and at its height was in charge of 44 venues. British Waterways spokesman James Lazarus said: “The economic climate and state of the pub market have changed significantly since the partnership was set up seven years ago and this move reflects that. “While we had hoped to be able to grow the pub partnership, we have every confidence that the waterside pubs have a bright future, and we are very pleased to have acquired the 10 best pubs from WPP.” The first pub to open under the joint venture was the Foxton Locks at Market Harborough, Leicestershire, in June 2005. Martyn Gray, then-commercial director at S&NPC’s predecessor Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises, said at the time: “We are planning other developments, but it is not yet possible to say how quickly these openings will follow. “Other sites earmarked represent a mix of different buildings. In the longer term we also intend to build new pubs from scratch on green field or brown sites.” It is understood that pub management specialist LT Pub Management, led by Billy Buchanan and chaired by former S&NPC managing director Jeremy Blood, is running the 17 former British Waterways pubs jointly with Licensed Solutions, led by Paul Whitford. LT Pub Management is now running around 1,100 pubs.

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