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Buyer found for historic country house 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.
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