With an 18-year career in the hospitality sector, Sean has an outstanding track record.
As well as maintaining the high-quality service and facilities that mark out The Inn Collection Group, Sean’s focus is leading the growth and expansion of the company, both within and further afield from its North East heartland.
He is also responsible for the ongoing operations and investment of the group’s units via the Board.
Sean joined the business as general manager of the group’s top-performing unit, The Bamburgh Castle Inn in Seahouses in 2008.
A former swimmer, sporting enthusiast Sean enjoys rugby and shooting.
A successful track record in the hospitality sector over a period of 24 years, Ian brings a wealth of experience to the Group.
Ian was the co-founder and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of QHotels group, a collection of 26 large four-star UK provincial hotels with turnover of £200m. Prior to QHotels Ian co-founded and was CFO of Paramount Hotels for 10 years.
As non-executive chairman Ian will provide support and advice to the management team to help them steer the group through expansion whilst maintaining everything that is unique about The Inn Collection Group.
Ian tries to spend as much of his leisure time outdoors, whether it’s cycling, trekking, climbing or running.
Executive Deputy Chairman
Business founder Keith Liddell has over 35 years’ leisure sector management experience.
His breadth of experience encompasses various management and director roles, including Imperial Inns and Taverns, Whitbread Inns and Wessex Taverns.
In his role as Executive Deputy Chairman of The Inn Collection Group, Keith has responsibility for the group’s strategic evolution and achieving acquisition targets to meet the company’s growth plan.
As an ex first-class rugby player with Swansea his current sporting interests include shooting and rugby.
Office Manager & PA to MD
An integral part of The Inn Collection Group and committed to ensuring its continued success, Charlotte has been a part of the company’s continual evolution for ten years.
Charlotte joined the group in 2008 as part of the award-winning Bamburgh Castle Inn’s front of house team. Her diverse sets of skills were soon spotted and she went on to be assistant manager there and at The Hog’s Head Inn.
Combining a positive, proactive attitude with a friendly, professional service, Charlotte oversees the day-to-day smooth running of the office. As well as being the first point of contact for the Group, Charlotte is PA to managing director, Sean Donkin.
Charlotte loves spending quality time with her family, taking the dogs for walks along the beach together and indulging in a couple of the ICG’s legendary Gin Serves.
Operations Manager (North)
Paul started his career in the leisure sector with Shearings Holidays before joining pub giant J D Wetherspoon plc in Scotland. He went on to head up F&B outlets across Tyne & Wear before joining The Inn Collection Group as general manager of The King’s Head Inn in 2014.
His wealth of industry experience and proven track record is channeled into the management of all areas of the Group’s operations.
An inspirational leader who champions individuals and teamwork, Paul firmly believes in developing and nurturing people to support their own personal development and performance with training and mentoring.
Outside the office, family man Paul enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters and walking the family dog, Buster. He’s a keen sports enthusiast watching football and rugby and enjoying a well-earned pint in one of the Group’s inns.
Operations Manager (South)
More than 20 years’ experience covering every position on the trade ladder, from cellar management and front of house to general manager has paved the way for Chris’s enviable breadth of knowledge in the sector.
Committed to giving customers outstanding venues to eat, drink, sleep and explore from, Chris’s portfolio includes management titles at 42nd Street Bars, Greene King and Sir John Fitzgerald and advancing through The Inn Collection Group tiers.
A keen walker and outdoors enthusiast, putting his best foot forward led Chris to formulate the Group’s ever-popular Walk Inn package breaks.
A family man, Chris likes spending time with his wife and three children and being outdoors with them, making memories.
Commercial & Compliance Manager
Result orientated, Gary has an enviable understanding of the leisure and tourism industry born out of 17 years experience working in the sector with Bourne Leisure and Haven. He joined The Inn Collection Group in 2013 as general manager of the group’s 53-bedroom The Hog’s Head Inn.
Driven by delivering on customer expectations while upholding the vision, values and quality of The Inn Collection Group brand, Gary excels in building strong, cross-functional teams and giving them the skills, encouragement and support to be productive and reach their goals.
A talented amateur photographer, Gary enjoys spending time with his family, walking their dogs on the beach and can frequently be in search of ‘the one that got away’ out fishing.
A former lead advisor with KPMG’s corporate finance team in Leeds and Bank of Scotland Relationship and Corporate Banking, Claire has held senior growth roles in the UK and the Unites States.
She established leading white marble producers TBGS Holdings and JB Processing in Alabama and was part of the senior management team at cutting-edge construction design and manufacturing giant Blox PLC, with clients including some of the largest healthcare operators in the United States.
A firm believer in finance being real-time within every aspect of the group’s operations from the top down, Claire is an integral part of the group’s expansion plans.
Having newly joined the group from the United States, Claire is enjoying sampling our Great British drinks including artisan gins and real ales.
She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two boys as well as watching them play football and go-karting.
Playing an integral role in the Group’s growth and development, Chris is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of the Finance Department.
A certified accountant for over 15 years, he has worked in multiple national and international business sectors, from fast-moving consumer goods businesses to mass participation events, including Nova International (the company behind The Great North Run).
When he’s not crunching numbers, Chris enjoys cycling, open water swimming and even entering the occasional triathlon. A self-confessed car enthusiast, Chris has swapped his sports wheels for a family estate to ferry his twins around.
Project and Development Manager
Passionate about creating new and dynamic venues for our customers to enjoy, Graeme has a wealth of architectural and interior design experience.
With almost 20-years’ experience under his belt, Graeme has worked with a wide range of businesses nationally including The Restaurant Group and BXB Interiors. He specialises in restaurant, bar and hotel projects.
Driven by creativity and innovation in design, Graeme plays a key role in all aspects relating to the group’s estate development. From the conceptual vision of new build projects; refurbishments across the group’s existing estate, to the repurposing of acquisitions to meld with The Inn Collection Group’s award-winning eat, drink, sleep and explore philosophy.
While admitting he’ll never be the next England manager, Graeme enjoys coaching grassroots football teams. Weekends see him and his wife cheering on their son during football matches and supporting their daughter as she puts her best foot forward in dancing competitions.
Group Development Chef
Carving out a showstopper culinary career spanning over 30 years, Richard has cooked for royalty and some of the biggest names in acting.
He is now responsible for developing The Inn Collection Group’s dining offer, championing the group’s award-winning food standards across all its outlets while developing and nurturing young chefs within the company.
After working in London’s Grovesnor Hotel and some of the region’s best-known Italian restaurants, Richard spent 11 years as head chef at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle where he cooked for Prince Charles, Prince Edward and the Duke of Edinburgh and actors including Sir Ian McKellen and Nigel Havers.
Father of two Richard joined The Inn Collection Group three years ago as head chef of The Commissioners Quay Inn.
Outside the kitchen, Richard enjoys fishing and spending time with his children and watching his daughter compete in equestrian competitions.
Hospitality stalwart Daniel Evans is committed to going above and beyond to deliver customer satisfaction and sharing this vision with his teams, so they have an impact on the group’s continued success.
Honing proven management expertise garnered from the digital and telecoms sectors, Daniel pursued an ambition to enter the leisure trade, joining The Commissioner’s Quay in Blyth as assistant manager. His efforts to deliver excellent customer service and lead a dynamic team in a fast-paced environment saw him take the helm of the seaside inn as general manager.
Outside work, Daniel enjoys heading down to the beach with his family and has been known to pull on his running shoes. A keen football supporter, he enjoys cheering on local side Blyth Spartans.