Buyer found for historic country house hotel near Spennymoor

The Northern Echo: A buyer has been found for Whitworth Hall Hotel near Spennymoor A buyer has been found for Whitworth Hall Hotel near Spennymoor

A COUNTRY house hotel that was put into administration earlier this year has been sold, saving 40 jobs.

News that administrators had been called to Whitworth Hall Hotel, near Spennymoor, in County Durham, sent shockwaves across the region back in October.

Many brides and grooms-to-be were left in a state of shock, with some even cancelling their wedding receptions, unable to stand the agonising wait for a buyer.

But today (Monday, December 23), joint administrators Andrew Haslam and Gary Lee, of Begbies Traynor, announced the hotel has been sold to Derek Parnaby Cyclones International Limited, an engineering business based in nearby Chilton.

The business is owned and managed by Adrian Parnaby and family.

Mr Parnaby, whose father, Derek Parnaby, owned the grade II listed building as a private residence from 1980 to 1997, said: “My family and I are proud to take over the ownership of this historic property and look forward to working closely with existing management to develop the hotel and grounds in the future.

“We are pleased to be able to maintain the existing staff, and fully intend to honour all existing bookings.”

Situated in picturesque grounds, complete with a deer park, Whitworth Hall Hotel is the ancestral home of the 18th Century MP Bobby Shafto - subject of the nursery rhyme Bobby Shafto's Gone to Sea.

It has provided an idyllic setting for countless wedding over the years but the difficult economic climate, and the death of WhitworthHall Country Park Limited director Alan Lax this summer, resulted in mounting financial problems.

Following their appointment on October 18, Mr Haslam and Mr Lee continued to operate the 29- bedroom hotel during their search for a buyer.

The hotel was put on the market for with a £1.2m price tag and hotel agents Colliers International received enquiries from more than 30 potential purchasers.

Mr Haslam said: “This is great news for customers, staff and creditors of the business. With its beautiful location and excellent reputation, we were confident from the start that this popular venue would be snapped up very quickly.

“Our aim was to ensure there was as little disruption as possible during the marketing period in order to preserve the value of the business.”

Customers are advised to contact the hotel direct on 01388 811772 to enquire about future bookings.

Comments (2)

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6:22pm Tue 24 Dec 13

Ben Ord says...

I am delighted to read that the historic Whitworth Hall, the home of Bobby Shafto has been bought. I wish the new owners every success and hope that they are successful, in their new venture.
I am delighted to read that the historic Whitworth Hall, the home of Bobby Shafto has been bought. I wish the new owners every success and hope that they are successful, in their new venture. Ben Ord

6:54am Wed 25 Dec 13

CLANSMAN says...

I am very happy that parnarby have bought the property, I wonder if the long term plan is to return it to a private resident property again
Went to whitworth park recently and it's a disgrace, more like a landfill site with the demolition of the pub shaftos or rebuild
It used to be a busy family place with car park , children, park and reindeer and woodland walk .... Now it's a business
How times change ....
I am very happy that parnarby have bought the property, I wonder if the long term plan is to return it to a private resident property again Went to whitworth park recently and it's a disgrace, more like a landfill site with the demolition of the pub shaftos or rebuild It used to be a busy family place with car park , children, park and reindeer and woodland walk .... Now it's a business How times change .... CLANSMAN

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