Arc raises £7m to accelerate growth & UK-wide expansion

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Shortlisted venue: Manahatta Sheffield is also a finalist in this year's Best New Site category at the Publican Awards
Shortlisted venue: Manahatta Sheffield is also a finalist in this year's Best New Site category at the Publican Awards

Related tags Multi-site pub operators Finance Pubco + head office

Multi-site operator Arc Inspirations is set to accelerate expansion across the UK after raising £7m.

The Leeds-based business has secured a £4m loan from banking partner HSBC UK as well as a £3m equity injection from shareholders, including BGF, which has backed the company since 2022.

The capital will support Arc’s continued growth plans, including delivering at least four new openings a year over the next five years. It will also fund a major programme of new refurbishments at existing Manahatta sites.

Co-founder and CEO Martin Wolstencroft said: “We’re grateful to the HSBC UK team and to our shareholders who continue to believe in our business and support us on our ambitious growth journey."

Key milestones

He added: “Together we have achieved a number of key milestones, with four successful new site openings in 2023 and our most successful festive period​ to date.

“Each success is testament to our team and culture and I thank each and every member of our team as we continue to build what we believe is the best bar business in the country.”

The record sales in December 2023 included like-for-likes for the four weeks to the end of last year up almost a fifth (19.9%) against the same month in 2022.

Arc is set to open its debut Scottish site – Manahatta Edinburgh, which is the brand’s 10th​ venue – later this summer.

Strong balance sheet

The business is also eyeing further openings in London, Liverpool and Cardiff this year, which it estimated will create around 300 new jobs.

HSBC UK head of retail and leisure James Sawley said: “Arc Inspirations is a homegrown success story and we’re delighted to build on our relationship and provide further investment to this resilient and ambitious business.

“Arc has already achieved impressive scale and our support has enabled Martin and his team to deliver significant growth in recent years.

“With a strong balance sheet, outstanding leadership team and proven concepts, we are confident in Arc’s ability to succeed in new, untapped markets across the UK and we wish the team every success with the next stage of their exciting growth plans.”

Last year, Arc opened Box sites in Nottingham and Birmingham​ as well as two Manahattas in Newcastle and Sheffield, the latter of which is a finalist in the 2024 Publican Awards Best New Site category​.

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