Stonegate, the managed pub operator, has converted three of its student-focused Scream sites into a more traditional pub format aimed at maintaining trade outside term time, chairman Ian Payne has told M&C Report.

Payne said the company has made investments in nine of the 53 Screams since it acquired them as part of the 333 from Mitchells & Butlers in 2010 - he labelled the standards in the pubs on acquisition “an absolute disgrace”.

He added: “We’ve moved three from Scream to what we call ‘Trad Locals’. The problem with Scream is it trades 30 weeks of the year. It’s great when the students are there, but for 22 weeks of the year it’s bloody awful. So what we’ve been trying to do is make it a 52 week business.

“We did the Adelphi in Preston, which opened in early summer. We’ve done the Hayworth Arms in Hull and two weeks ago we opened the Royal George in Cardiff. They are all ex-Screams that are now cask ale, traditional business. They are doing very well.”

Asked if more Screams could be converted to the format, Payne said: “It’s certainly something we will be watching very closely.”