News

Inn Collection Group in running for Publican Award

The Inn Collection Group has been shortlisted in the prestigious national Publican Awards.

The group has reached the finals in the Best Accommodation Provider category at the awards ceremony - the pub industry’s equivalent of the Oscars - at London’s Battersea Evolution on March 15.

The Inn Collection Group impressed The Publican Awards panel with its entry and now faces further rigorous testing as part of the judging process. Judges will visit the inns and speak to staff, carry out ‘mystery shopper’ trips to the sites and grill management at a Dragons’ Den-style panel interview in London in February.

Inn Collection Group chief executive, Keith Liddell, said: “These are the biggest and most-keenly contested awards in our industry and we’re proud to be shortlisted for the Best Accommodation Provider.

“But there’s a long way to go before we can secure the award for the North East. We face tough competition in our category and a series of challenges to prove to the judges that our inns are the UK’s Best Accommodation Provider.”

Mr Liddell said: “All of our inns provide excellent, value-for-money accommodation in handpicked locations, home-cooked pub food served all day, every day, well-stocked bars, and a warm welcome to our customers.

“We’re confident that The Publican Awards judges will see what has made our inns such a hit with tourists and locals alike when they make the trip to the North East to visit us.”

Now in their 25th year, The Publican Awards received a huge number of entries for the 2016 contest.

Ed Bedington, editor of The Publican’s Morning Advertiser trade publication, said: "We've been overwhelmed with the response to the competition this year. The fact it's celebrating 25 years of recognising industry excellence has seen companies from across the pub world get on board and we're delighted to have smashed records with our entries.”

Tourism Award Winner Takes Over at The Seaton Lane Inn

2.	Peter O'Brien (R) celebrates winning Tourism Pub of the Year with head chef of The Bamburgh Castle Inn David Barella (L)

The General Manager of the North East Tourism Pub of the Year has been announced as the new person in charge at The Seaton Lane Inn.

Peter O’Brien is the new General Manager and will be operating The Seaton Lane Inn working alongside all of the existing members of staff. Peter led The Bamburgh Castle Inn, part of the Inn Collection Group, to victory in the recent North East Tourism Awards as it won the Gold award for Tourism Pub of the Year.

The Seaton Lane Inn General Manager, Peter O’Brien said: “I am really looking forward to working with all the staff at The Seaton Lane Inn. It already has a great mix of local, leisure and business customers attracted by its homely pub atmosphere, good value bed and breakfast accommodation and excellent food that is served all-day, every day. The success we had at The Bamburgh Castle Inn was a real team effort, and that is what I’d like to be able to bring to The Seaton Lane Inn.”

The Seaton Lane Inn joined The Inn Collection Group family of north east pubs with rooms earlier this year. The fast-growing hospitality specialist also own The Lindisfarne Inn near Holy Island, The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses and The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick as well as The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry in North Yorkshire

The Inn Collection Group was also recently named best leisure business in the Northumberland Business Awards 2015. Taking top honours in the sought after leisure category, the ICG was recognised by judges for its innovation, proven track record, value for money and standards of service across the hospitality sector. In addition to The Bamburgh Castle Inn winning Gold, a second of the groups Inns, The Hog’s Head Inn in Alnwick, also won silver in the Access for All category the North East Tourism Awards.

The Inn Collection Group chief executive, Keith Liddell, said: “The Seaton Lane Inn is a well-appointed, well-run inn which has been able to slot seamlessly into The Inn Collection Group portfolio with its eat, drink, sleep and explore model. We are looking forward to developing this Inn further now that Peter has joined the team. It is tremendous that our inns are performing so well and we are hoping that 2016 will be an exciting year for The Seaton Lane Inn.”

With 180 bedrooms in its portfolio of inns, The Inn Collection Group, which is backed by Kings Park Capital, is the largest private hospitality accommodation provider in Northumberland.

Inn Collection Group’s double success at North East England Tourism Awards

The Inn Collection Group is celebrating the success of two of its inns at the North East England Tourism Awards, with one now going on to represent the region at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses took gold for Tourism Pub of the Year and The Hog’s Head Inn in Alnwick won silver in the Access for All category at a glittering ceremony at Newcastle Civic Centre last night (November 24).

The Bamburgh Castle Inn in Seahouses, which boasts stunning views of the harbour and Farne Islands, was named the region’s Tourism Pub of the Year ahead of Angel of Corbridge, The Bridge Tavern and The Staith House. It will now go forward to the VisitEngland national awards.

Working to provide an excellent visitor experience for everyone, The Bamburgh Castle serves great, home-cooked food, real ales and offers a warm welcome to all. The inn caters for everyone and is popular among walkers, cyclists and divers visiting this beautiful part of the Northumberland coastline. It’s pet-friendly too and has specially designated rooms for guests who want to bring their dogs on holiday with them.

The Hog’s Head Inn, a modern, purpose-built inn named after the inn in the Harry Potter stories, won silver in the Access for All category, where it was shortlisted against big names in the regional leisure industry - the Calvert Trust, Kielder, Sage Gateshead & GOTH, and Newcastle United Football Club/Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events.

The Inn’s commitment to Access for All was included in the plans when the inn was built in 2013. The level, no-step first floor leads into the dining area and bar, and a number of bedrooms are specially designed for people with restricted mobility. They feature wet room bathrooms, emergency pull cords in the bedroom and bathroom, and connected doors to neighbouring bedrooms. Outside, the inn has a designated disabled car parking area.

Inn Collection Group chief executive, Keith Liddell, said: “It is tremendous that our inns performed so well at this year’s North East England Tourism Awards.

“These really are the Oscars of our industry, and our successes are down to the fantastic people who operate our premises. They are always ready to go the extra mile to give guests the best possible experience and it’s marvellous to see that recognised.

“This year’s awards are the biggest yet, with 58 businesses making the shortlist. To emerge victorious from that calibre of competition really rubber stamps that we’re getting things absolutely right at the Inn Collection Group.”

The North East England Tourism Awards were established 2012 to showcase the best of the region’s tourism attractions, and are organised and delivered by the NewcastleGateshead Initiative and the Northern Tourism Alliance.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative chief executive, Sarah Stewart, said: “Huge congratulations to all of this year’s winners. It has been another outstanding year for entries with a high standard of entrants across the board.

“International events, in particular the Rugby World Cup, have given a huge boost to the local tourism industry this year, not only in Newcastle as host city, but across the whole of the North East.

“Such events present a fantastic opportunity to profile the breadth of the region’s tourism offer from cultural city-breaks to family holidays.

“The region is home to two World Heritage Sites, world-class museums and galleries, breathtaking countryside and dramatic coastline, and it’s fantastic to see the continued success of local businesses which contribute skills, knowledge and outstanding experiences to the industry as a whole.”

 

 

 

Inn Collection Group takes leisure award win

The Inn Collection Group has been named best leisure business in the Northumberland Business Awards 2015.

The Inn Collection Group (ICG) was rewarded for its achievements in the leisure sector at the awards ceremony, hosted by Northeast Press.

Taking top honours in the sought after leisure category, the ICG was recognised by judges for its innovation, proven track record, value for money and standards of service across the hospitality sector.

Keith Liddell, ICG chief executive said: "It is a real honour to be collecting this award for The Inn Collection Group. It is a testament to the hard work, commitment and professionalism of our outstanding team who make The Inn Collection Group the leading hospitality provider it is, providing our customers with the perfect places to eat, drink, sleep and explore.

The ICG fought off stiff competition from finalists across the leisure and hospitality sector including Newton Hall, Alnwick Garden & Castle Experience and Ellingham Hall.

Managing director of Johnston Press North East, Stephen Plews, said: “We have received a record number of outstanding entries from across the entire spectrum of the business community.

“Northumberland is a diverse county with its rural heartlands in the north and west and the more populated south and east, and we are honoured to be playing our part in supporting that diversity through the Business Awards.”

Dozens of businesses from across the region battled it out for prizes in 12 categories including New business (under two years), Social Responsibility Award, Apprentice/Trainee of the Year, Employer of the Year, Best Green Business, Exporter of the Year, Creative Industries Award, Apprentice Ambassador Innovation Award, Leisure Award and Large and Small Business of the Year.

Jeannie Kielty, development relations coordinator at partner sponsor The Banks Group, said: “It’s an honour to be one of the main sponsors for the Northumberland Business Awards this year and to celebrate everything that is so exciting about the business community in what is a fantastic county.

“Northumberland is renowned for its exceptional food, its successful agricultural sector, its thriving tourism industry, and its industrial roots, and these awards celebrate those businesses that go above and beyond in their areas of expertise and help boost the local economy.

“Everyone shortlisted represents very different businesses in very different parts of the county – but they all have one thing in common, they embody the spirit of enterprise that is at the heart of Northumberland’s social and economic future.”

With 180 bedrooms in its portfolio of inns, the ICG, which is backed by Kings Park Capital, is the largest private hospitality accommodation provider in Northumberland.

The ICG portfolio includes Northumberland-based inns The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal, The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses, The Hogs Head Inn at Alnwick and The Commissioner’s Quay Inn at Blyth which opens in 2016.

The group’s expanding estate also includes The Seaton Lane Inn in County Durham and The King’s Head Inn in North Yorkshire. 

Sean joins Inn Collection Group board

The Inn Collection Group (ICG) has promoted Sean Donkin to Operations Director of the fast-growing North East hospitality and leisure group.

Sean, who joined the company in 2008 as general manager of the Bamburgh Castle Inn in Seahouses, has risen to director level from his previous post as the group’s Operations Manager.

He will be responsible for directing operations and developments at the group, which employs 200 people. In particular, Sean will be heavily involved in the expansion of the group, which has just added The Seaton Lane Inn in County Durham to its portfolio and announced plans for a new build unit on the Northumberland coast.

ICG CEO Keith Liddell said: “Sean has proven himself to be the man for the job at this exciting time in our development, as we increase our presence in the market and eye up further potential targets to add to the Inn Collection Group.

“Sean has worked with us since the early days of the group and has proved himself to have the management and leadership skills to step up to the next level. It’s our policy wherever possible to train and promote our management and now director-level staff from within the group and I am delighted to welcome a man of Sean’s calibre to the board.”

Sean’s promotion to Operations Director comes as the ICG pushes ahead with plans for the new £4.5m 40-bedroom Commissioners Quay Inn at Blyth. The brand new inn with dining and meeting facilities is being built by Northumberland County Council’s development company Arch and will be operated by ICG. It is scheduled to open in May next year and will provide key hospitality facilities when the Tall Ships Race visits the Northumberland port later in 2016.

ICG also operates the purpose-built Hog’s Head Inn in Alnwick, The Bamburgh Castle Inn in Seahouses, The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal, The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry in North Yorkshire and has just added The Seaton Lane Inn at Seaton, near Sunderland, to its expanding portfolio. All the units in the ICG provide good value accommodation and home cooked food around the clock from 7am until at least 9pm to customers.

Sean said: “The Inn Collection Group has allowed me to maximise my experience in the hospitality and leisure sector and I’m delighted to take up this new mantle within the business.

“This is a busy and exciting period for us as we absorb The Seaton Lane Inn into the group and work on the new development at The Commissioners Quay Inn. I’m also looking forward to being involved in identifying and securing new acquisitions for the ICG as we continue our expansion. Our portfolio currently has a bedroom total of 180, making us the largest private hospitality accommodation operator in Northumberland. As a group we will be continuing to grow our coverage throughout the North East region.”

Inn Collection Group expands as green light given to multi-million pound Blyth inn

The Inn Collection Group has been announced as the operator for a multi-million pound 40-bedoom pub with rooms in Blyth.

The Commissioners Quay Inn will be open for business ahead of the arrival of the Tall Ships in Blyth next year.

The Commissioners Quay Inn will be built by Arch, The Northumberland Development Company. The development is the second phase of Arch’s investment at Commissioners Quay, adding a further £5m following the opening of Blyth Workspace in March and with a planning application for new housing currently in for planning.   

Located on Blyth’s Quay Road, the four-storey building has been designed to provide an attractive venue for daytime and evening trade, and to provide an improvement to the quayside area. The building will be constructed in a high quality redbrick with elements of render and timber referencing the surroundings. Ground source heat pumps will be utilised to partly supply hot water. The new Inn’s credentials are in keeping with Blyth’s reputation as an alternative energy pioneer. The town is home to ORE Catapult, the UK renewables research centre and also boasts a biomass power station and Britain’s first offshore wind turbines.

The Commissioners Quay Inn has been designed with 40 bedrooms across three floors providing stunning sea views, while a ground floor bar and eatery area overlooking the river will provide covers for up to 265 diners inside with a further 100 covers outside  and offer informal meeting spaces.

ICG chief executive Keith Liddell said: “The Commissioners Quay Inn will be a great addition to our portfolio and the jewel in the crown of Blyth’s harbour regeneration. There is a real shortage of accommodation of this nature in Blyth and The Commissioners Quay Inn will fulfil this current gap in the market.

“The arrival of the Tall Ships next year will really put Blyth on the map and we’re delighted that The Commissioners Quay Inn will be open for business, offering much-need accommodation to visitors so they extend their stay in the town, fuelling more trade for local businesses. Beyond the Tall Ships, the Inn will provide much needed accommodation for visiting businesses to the likes of the Port of Blyth and Catapult.”

“In both the short and long term, the new development will give a boost to Blyth’s economy, both from the jobs created during construction and the 35 permanent, full time positions the inn will generate.”

Cllr Dave Ledger, Arch Chair and Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “We are excited to be working with a leisure operator of the ICG’s calibre to provide Blyth with much-needed new accommodation provision in a prime regeneration location. The development of The Commissioners Quay Inn is in keeping with Northumberland County Councils investment programme in Blyth to boost the area’s economic and tourism capacity. As well as creating jobs, visitors bring vital added spend into the local economy, so this announcement is good news all around.”

“The Commissioners Quay Inn is scheduled to open in spring 2016 and we anticipate the inn will be a hugely popular place for people to stay when the Tall Ships arrive in Blyth next August. It will be perfectly positioned for viewing the world-class spectacle and guests can expect to enjoy some fantastic views of the Northumberland coastline too”.

The Commissioners Quay Inn will operate on the ICG model of providing value-for-money accommodation, quality beverages including local real ales, and home made pub fare served all day, 365 days a year.

The addition of The Commissioners Quay Inn to The Inn Collection Group portfolio takes the group’s bedroom number to 180, making the operator, which is backed by Kings Park Capital, the largest private hospitality accommodation provider in Northumberland.

Construction of The Commissioners Quay Inn will be delivered by Bowmer and Kirkland Limited, with work scheduled to start on site later this month.

The Inn Collection Group adds Seaton Lane Inn to portfolio

North East hospitality and leisure specialist The Inn Collection Group (ICG) has added its first property in County Durham to its expanding portfolio of inns.

The purchase of The Seaton Lane Inn at Seaton, near Sunderland, brings the number of Inns operated by the group to five. The new acquisition was backed by Kings Park Capital with banking support from Santander Corporate. 

ICG chief executive officer Keith Liddell, said: “The acquisition of The Seaton Lane Inn is the latest step in our buy and develop expansion plan.

It is the perfect addition to our group and has a great location that’s popular with tourists and locals alike. Its close proximity to Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle means the unit is a popular choice for corporate customers too.

“Mixing a local, tourism and corporate offer is a key part of our strategy at our existing four inns, which like The Seaton Lane Inn, share great locations and provide a homely pub atmosphere, good value bed and breakfast accommodation and serve food all-day, every day.”

The Seaton Lane Inn is known for its top quality food and offers award-winning pub dining, plus hugely popular Sunday lunches. Its village location is handily just off the A19 and close to the A1(M) and A690, seven miles outside of Sunderland and 11 miles from Durham City. The Inn is well-placed for visits to the County Durham coast, the World Heritage site of Durham Cathedral, and the city cultural, shopping and entertainment attractions of Sunderland, Newcastle and Gateshead. 

The ICG acquisition safeguards 36 jobs at The Seaton Lane Inn, which will retains its current management team and continue to trade as normal under its new ownership.

Mr Liddell said: “The Seaton Lane Inn is a well-appointed, well-run inn which we aim to slot seamlessly into The Inn Collection Group portfolio and it’s eat, drink, sleep and explore model.

“With our three properties in Northumberland – The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick, The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses and the Lindisfarne Inn at Beal – and The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry in North Yorkshire, the acquisition of The Seaton Lane Inn means that we are now one of the largest overnight accommodation providers in the region. 

“Our portfolio currently has a bedroom total of 180, making us the largest private hospitality accommodation operator in Northumberland. As a group we will be continuing to grow our coverage throughout the North East region.

“We will continue to look for suitable properties to add to our portfolio as The Inn Collection Group increases its share of the North East hospitality and leisure market.”