A pub group is to open its first “beat of New York” cocktail bar in Scotland.

Arc Inspirations is to open a Manahatta bar north of the Border this summer after securing expansion backing.

The leading operator of premium bar brands including Banyan and BOX said it is set to accelerate its growth across the UK after raising £7m.

Arc Inspirations’ next opening will be its debut Scottish site – Manahatta Edinburgh, the brand’s tenth venue, launching later this summer.

“The newest addition will bring the beat of New York to Edinburgh, with a glamorous, exciting cocktail bar perfect for glam get-togethers and everyday escapism,” Arc said.

The Leeds-based company is also eyeing further launches in London, Liverpool, and Cardiff in 2024, creating around 300 new jobs.

It has secured a £4m loan from its banking partner, HSBC UK, alongside a £3m equity injection from its shareholders, including BGF which has backed the business since 2022.

With ambitions to deliver at least four new openings per year over the next five years, the capital will support Arc’s continued growth plans, and also fund a major programme of exciting new refurbishments at existing Manahatta sites.

Martin Wolstencroft, Arc co-founder, 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.

"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."

James Sawley, of HSBC UK, 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."

New chair appointed by Scottish Tourism Alliance

The Scottish Tourism Alliance has appointed a new chair.

Rebecca Brooks, managing director of travel firm Abbey UK, steps into the role vacated by veteran Scottish hotelier Stephen Leckie. Mr Leckie was recently named the new chairman of VisitScotland.

The STA said Ms Brooks, who is also a director and owner of the Abbey Group, brings a wealth of experience to the role, having been a leading figure in the Scottish tourism industry for more than two decades. She has served as vice chair of the STA since October 2022.

Prestigious Scotch whisky society signals profit hopes

The owner of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has reported revenue ahead of upgraded expectations and signalled confidence of improving profits this year, as it revealed plans to move into new headquarters in central Edinburgh.

The Artisanal Spirits Company reported an 8% rise in sales to £23.5 million as membership of the society grow by 10% to more than 41,000 in the year ended December 31, “despite the headwinds prominent in 2023 and the macroeconomic conditions in China”. However, the company said that pre-tax losses widened to £3.6 million from £2.1m, largely because of interest cost and depreciation of its now fully operational supply chain facility in Uddingston