Rural Pub Reaps Reward of a £250k Makeover

New jobs and impressive increase in turnover following £250,000 makeover of Belthorn restaurant

The Pack Italian Restaurant & Bar, which is located in Lancashire’s highest village, Belthorn near Blackburn, has seen turnover rise by 70% on like-for like sales following a £250,000 makeover.

The refurbishment of the former Pack Horse, which was majority funded by SME lender, Reward Finance Group, included the knocking through of internal walls to make it open plan and contemporary and enabling it to increase its covers from 60 to 80.

In addition the bar area has been extended, a new entrance built and an outside terrace created to take advantage of the great views of the Ribble Valley and Pendle Hill.

As well as retaining an open plan kitchen, it now includes a wood-fired pizza oven.

The increase in covers and impressive rise in turnover has led to an additional five jobs being created, taking the team to 15, plus the appointment of a new Italian chef who is arriving from Sicily this month.

Speaking about the success, Karl Elsworth who owns the restaurant with his wife Jo-Ann, said,

“We have owned The Pack for five years and we knew it needed a change. Although it is in a fabulous village, it is off the beaten track and it is therefore a destination venue.

“We were keen to retain the best of the historic features of the building, while giving it a contemporary feel. We were confident that this would attract additional customers and encourage more dwell time while they are here.

“It was an ambitious project, as we had to close for three months to complete it, so we are grateful that Russell Holt and the team at Reward had faith in us and provided the funds to enable it to happen.

“With the new chef joining us shortly we will be looking to increase revenue further by opening at lunchtimes during the week.”

Commenting on the investment, Russell Holt, Business Development Director for Reward Finance Group in the North West, said,

“I was impressed with Karl and Jo-Ann from the first meeting. They are both driven and passionate about the restaurant. They knew exactly what was needed to take the restaurant onto the next level and dramatically increase its profitability. We therefore had no hesitation in providing the funds to bring the plans to reality and we are delighted for them both that their confidence has paid off with such dramatic results.”