ONE of the country’s leading pub chains has employed a Tyne Valley man to oversee its 1,000 pubs.

Corbridge resident Chris Jowsey was recently appointed chief executive of Admiral Taverns after he was enticed from Heineken UK, where he worked for 15 years.

Since taking on the role, Admiral has purchased an additional 300 pubs to the 750 it previously owned. In Hexham, the chain already owned The County Hotel and had recently taken on The Fox.

Mr Jowsey said: “I would like to grow the number to 1,500 over the next few years. We’ve just bought 300 so we have a long way to go.

“We don’t want to get too big, though, because you lose that personal touch and I like to get my arms around the business.

“I like to spend a lot of time out and about in pubs so I know what’s going on, rather than being told what’s going on by people.”

Mr Jowsey got into the pub industry in 2003 when he joined Scottish and Newcastle, based in Edinburgh, and then later Newcastle Breweries and John Smiths. He then became commercial director of Heineken UK, and ran the company’s Star Pubs and Bars, which had 1,200 pubs under its belt.

He then served as the company’s director before Admiral came calling for his services.

Mr Jowsey is now on the lookout for a licensee to take on the running of the currently closed Coach and Horses hotel and pub, in Hexham. The pub is in line for a major refurbishment and will hold an open evening for prospective tenants on December 2 between 4pm and 8pm at The County Hotel.