Award-winning community pub company Hawthorn Leisure has further strengthened its operations team by recruiting a new property director.

The appointment of Andrew Cannons, who joins from Greene King, comes just weeks after operations director Ashley Lovett was recruited from Ei Group.

These two important additions to Hawthorn Leisure’s operations team, which now numbers almost 30, signal its commitment to investing in its pubs and people, as it continues to seek growth opportunities.

Andrew, who was head of property services at Greene King, was also operations director at Bellrock, the property and facilities management provider for retail, healthcare, education, hospitality and corporate clients in the UK and Ireland.

Ten years at Heineken included three as Scottish & Newcastle acquisitions director, and saw him working as head of property for Heineken-owned Stars Pubs & Bars, where he was responsible for 1,300 sites.

Andrew, whose joining takes the operations team to 29, will lead four property managers, and reports to David Shipton, corporate development and strategy director at NewRiver. The leisure and retail property specialist bought Hawthorn Leisure last year.

Overseeing more than 600 community pubs across England, Scotland and Wales, Hawthorn Leisure’s operations team is headed by managing director of operations Mark McGinty, and includes two operations directors – Andy Parker in the north, with the south covered by Ashley Lovett – and 19 business development managers.

David Shipton said: “Andrew is a hugely experienced leisure and retail property specialist, and we’re delighted he’s joined the growing Hawthorn Leisure pub team, which now boasts exceptional strength-in-depth, and extraordinary levels of industry knowledge.

“Him joining so soon after Ashley also demonstrates our total commitment to investing in the best people, who in turn ensure we invest wisely in our pubs and the partners and managers who run those pubs.”

Andrew, who spent three years at Greene King, said: “I’ve watched Hawthorn Leisure’s development over the past few years with interest, so I was excited when the opportunity arose to join what I consider to be one of the sector’s most progressive companies, and I’m looking forward to helping it run a successful and sustainable pub portfolio.”

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