New Moon Pub Company, the Cheshire-based business co-founded by former Living Ventures director Paul Newman, plans to grow an estate of around 10 sites in the North West, before looking to exit the business to fund the launch of a new city-centre food concept.

The group, which has already secured three sites in the region, admits it is using the pub business as a “shop window” to attract interest and investment, while also putting the infrastructure in place to launch the proposed new concept that will target sites in Liverpool and Manchester.

The city centre food concept will be based on an element of the food offering in the pub estate - described by Newman as “grazing-style”.

Co-owner Newman told M&C Report that the business is enjoying a fruitful relationship with pub company Enterprise Inns, with which it has secured two leases. “They get a bad press,” he said, “but if you know what you are doing there are great deals to be had with them.”

Enterprise has invited Newman and his business partner David Mooney, who has worked for high-profile chefs including Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc, to view another pub in the region later this week.

The company, which was founded last year, recently secured the Hanging Gate in Weaverham near Northwich for its third site and appointed Neil Gazzard, formerly of Zizzi, as its first senior operations manager.

The group will open its second site, the Old Sessions House in Knutsford, next week, with a VIP launch on the 27 September.

Its first outlet, the Lord Binning Pub and Kitchen in Kelsall, opened last August after a £120k investment and projected turnover for the first trading year is £1m.