Stonegate, the managed pub operator, plans to make investments in 80 sites over the next 12 months, including the introduction of a new template for its late-night bars and student-focused Scream brand. Chief executive Toby Smith told M&C Report that the company, which operates c.550 sites, is investing “heavily” in Slug and Lettuce and Scream, while a number of Yates and its local pubs will also be refurbished. No overall figure is available for the investment, and Smith said individual spends would vary per site. “We are looking at investing in 80 sites in the next 12 months,” he said. Earlier this month Stonegate’s Babylon in Newcastle was re-opened as Label after a £200k investment that included private booths, a premium drinks offer and a greater focus on pre-booking. “Not many people are looking to invest in the late night drink-only bar space. We are quite interested in looking at that. We have done our first one as a new template.” Smith said investments in the late-night division would be made “as and when appropriate”. Stonegate is currently revamping its Scream bars to encompass features such as all-day dining, sport screenings that are “best in class” and premium additions to the menu such as pizzas from handmade fresh dough. Investments at Scream bars have included £200k at the Friar Gate in Derby. Other investments have included the Cider Press in Bristol and the Hare of Dog in Birmingham. This evening (Wednesday 8 February) Stonegate is to re-open its King of Diamonds pub in London’s Greville Street following a major refurbishment including new furniture and colour scheme. The site has been renamed the Argyle. In November, M&C Report reported that Stonegate was understood to be running a slide rule over Barracuda Pub Company, the c.200-strong pub group, prior to a possible bid for the business. Smith declined to comment on Barracuda but said the company would look at opportunities as they arise.