Keighley brewer Timothy Taylor has appointed a pub estate operations manager.

German-born Heike Funke will be responsible for the smooth running and profitability of the company’s managed pubs. And she will oversee the operation of several tenanted outlets.

Her appointment comes as the Knowle Spring firm seeks to expand its estate, which currently comprises 19 hostelries in Yorkshire and East Lancashire.

“It’s great to be joining a company that truly believes in upholding the traditions and values of the English pub,” she said.

“The fact they also produce such a fantastic range of beers is a real bonus!

“I’m looking forward to working closely with the managers and tenants to help maximise the full potential of their operation.”

Latterly, Heike spent nine years with Punch Taverns as senior business development manager She looked after 55 leased and tenanted pubs throughout the North of England, and won the prestigious Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers Operations Manager of the Year award.

Taylor’s operations director, Andrew Daykin, said: “Heike is a very welcome addition to our pub estate team.

“She has joined at an interesting time for Timothy Taylor’s as we look to expand the estate, as and when the right pubs become available.”

Away from work, Heike and her husband enjoy rock climbing, skiing, hill walking and winter mountaineering.