Topping Out of The Amble Inn celebrated

Topping Out at The Amble Inn celebrated

The completion of the structural building work at The Amble Inn which will be operated by The Inn Collection Group has been marked with a topping out at the development site in Coquet Enterprise Park, Amble.

The new 30 bedroomed Inn, developed by Arch and its successor company Advance Northumberland is located off the A1068 leading into Amble from the south, the two-storey building has been designed to provide an attractive venue for daytime and evening trade. 

The investment of £4m is expected to create the equivalent of 35 full time jobs in the town once the building work and fit out completes later this year.

The Inn has been designed with 30 bedrooms including a mix of family and twin rooms, with a 150-seated restaurant and bar with further seating in an external terrace, car parking and cycle spaces.  The development is part of a wider plan to enhance Coquet Enterprise Park and the Inn will contribute to the town’s tourism offer by increasing the accommodation availability and helping to attract additional visitors.

The Inn will operate on the ICG model of providing value-for-money accommodation, quality beverages including local real ales, and homemade pub fare served all day, 365 days a year.The ICG has an expanding portfolio of Inns with rooms across the North East and North Yorkshire.

The Inn Collection Group's managing director Sean Donkin said: “We are excited to have reached this important milestone in the building of The Amble Inn and look forward to the completion of this landmark property.  

Our focus will now be placed on the building’s interior design and build. We will be creating something rather special which, once finished, will be a hugely popular dining and bar area supported with an excellent accommodation offering.

The Amble Inn will be a key driver in supporting Amble’s regional economy with strong job creation and inter trading opportunities as well as providing those who live, work and are visiting Amble with an outstanding new environment to eat, drink and sleep in.”

Richard Wearmouth Chair of Arch said: "This key development will bring quality, new accommodation which would undoubtedly mean more visitors and therefore more business for Amble. The Inn will not only enhance Coquet Enterprise Park as part of our long-term plans for the area but it will also bring much needed jobs to Amble. It’s developments like this which increase the potential for attracting inward investment to benefit Northumberland as a whole.”

Leanne shines as a Durham Tourism Superstar Finalist

Durham Tourism Superstar Finalist is The Kingslodge Inn General Manager Leanne Jeffrey

The Inn Collection Group's Leanne Jeffrey was a finalist in the hotly-contested Durham Tourism Superstar awards. 

Leanne, who is general manager of the Group's Durham city pub with rooms The Kingslodge Inn, was one of just five shining stars who reached the finals of the awards which recognise the dedication and passion of those working in Durham’s tourism industry who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors have a priceless experience in the county.

Leanne said: “I was incredibly proud to have been nominated for these awards and delighted to be a finalist in such a prestigious award for doing something that comes naturally to me and that I love to do. It is such an honour and a great privilege to be recognised in this way. 

“I take so much pleasure in sharing my passion for County Durham with our guests and passing on my knowledge to others, so they enjoy every moment of their time in our fantastic county. 

“I would like to thank everyone who voted for me and look forward to helping more people have a stay in Durham which totally exceeds their expectations.

“Congratulations to all the other finalists and of course to the Durham Tourism Superstar herself, Emily Hope of Beamish - The Living Museum of the North. She is absolutely shines in all she does and is so deserving of this title and I wish her the very best of luck when she flies the flag for Durham in the National Tourism Superstar Finals.”

Ivor Stolliday, chairman of Visit County Durham, said: “The competition is a wonderful way to recognise those individuals working tirelessly in the tourism industry. All of the finalists are incredible and each act as ambassadors for our county, we should all be extremely proud of them.”

Ten out of ten: Staff celebrate decade milestone with The Inn Collection Group

Longstanding employees at The Inn Collection Group celebrated their ten-year work anniversary with the company. 

Together David Barella, Charlotte Turner, Jan Moffett and Maria Badjorova have clocked up over 40 years working with The Inn Collection Group which owns and operates some of the North East’s most popular venues, including The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses, The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal and The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick. 

They were rewarded for their hard work and dedication to the company at a presentation with managing director, Sean Donkin. 

Sean said:  “Loyal and dedicated employees like David, Jan, Charlotte and Maria are the very backbone of our operations. They play a direct role in our continued success as a company, creating award-winning, enjoyable venues from which our customers can eat, drink, sleep and explore from. 

“As a company, we believe in investing in our team and supporting them to develop within the organisation from prime sites such as our flagship inn, The Bamburgh Castle which has been a prime site for incubating and nurturing talented individuals. On behalf of The Inn Collection Group I would like to thank them for their valued service and longstanding contribution to the company.” 

David Barella is head chef at The Bamburgh Castle Inn where he has led the kitchen brigade since the inn opened its doors in 2008. David is instrumental in staff training and takes pride in developing his kitchen team, leading staff to progress their own career journey within the company, from kitchen porter to head chef. 

Jan Moffett is head housekeeper at The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal near Holy Island.  Jan oversaw the refurbishment and expansion of the inn’s bedrooms and has played a key role in developing its walker and cyclist facilities. Jan regularly takes up the mantle of duty manager and supports The Lindisfarne Inn team to be cross-skilled in all areas of the inn’s operations. 

Office manager and PA to Sean Donkin, Charlotte Turner epitomises The Inn Collection Group’s ethos of nurturing staff from within and supporting them to rise through the company’s ranks. Charlotte began her career with The Inn Collection Group as part of The Bamburgh Castle Inn’s front of house team, before progressing to become assistant manager at the group’s top performing inn, before playing a pivotal role in the launch of The Hog’s Head Inn at Alnwick. Charlotte is the first point of contact within The Inn Collection Group hub and manages its daily office operations. 

Maria Badjorova is assistant manager at The Bamburgh Castle Inn, hailed by the Group as its flagship site, where Maria has been an integral part of the team since its opening ten years ago. Beginning as bar supervisor, Maria has overseen the inn’s continued growth, including its 15-room expansion, the redevelopment of the inn’s premium sea view rooms and most recently the addition of a 13-bedroom annexe.  

  • If you are interested in joining The Inn Collection Group team, opportunities currently exist at The Bamburgh Castle Inn for front of house staff. For more information email 

The Inn Collection Group completes funding deal with OakNorth

The Inn Collection Group completes growth funding deal with OakNorth bank

OakNorth, the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has provided The Inn Collection Group with finance to fund their expansion.

Established in 2006, The Inn Collection Group has become a market leader in developing contemporary inns providing accommodation, food and drink to leisure and business customers. It currently has 215 rooms across its seven sites, but plans to increase this to almost 300 by 2020 with the OakNorth lending. 

In addition to opening an eighth inn later this year – a 30-bedroom inn in Amble, Northumberland – The Inn Collection Group has added another 13 rooms to The Bamburgh Castle Inn, The Annex, and has refurbished the Seaton Lane Inn that has recently reopened. The Group's growth map also includes the addition of 29 new rooms at its popular Durham city centre operation, The Kingslodge Inn.

The Inn Collection Group’s Managing Director Sean Donkin, said: “Over the last half decade, we’ve embarked on a ‘buy and build’ growth strategy that has seen us become one of the largest private providers of accommodation in North East England. Over the next three years, we will continue to develop and seek out new premises, focusing on sites that fit with our philosophy and the continual evolution of our group, offering high-quality accommodation at value for money prices. Raising funds from OakNorth will pave the way for us to drive these growth plans and focus on the immediate expansion of our pubs with rooms model.”

Stuart Blair, Debt Finance Director at OakNorth, said: “The UK’s hotel industry has seen annual growth of three percent for the last five years, boosted by major events such as the London Olympics, the Royal Wedding, and the Rugby World Cup. The Great Exhibition of the North which is currently underway is expected to give the region’s tourism a further boost, attracting approx. three million people and one million from across the UK.

“The management team at The Inn Collection Group is in a prime position to take advantage of this – we were impressed by their business model, the operational experience of Sean, Keith Liddell and the wider team, as well as the quality of each site. The team have a plan to grow the group by expanding into new sites and locations, and we look forward to working with them to support this.”