North East pub group founder calls time after 15 years over-seeing major expansion

The founder of leading northern pub operator The Inn Collection Group has announced his retirement.

Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 3:09 pm

Keith Liddell has stepped down from his role as executive deputy chairman to take up planned retirement, after being at the helm of the award-winning pubco for over 15 years.

He founded the company with his first site, The Lindisfarne Inn – formerly The Plough at Beal, near Holy Island in 2006.

Since then he has been instrumental in positioning the company as a foremost provider of food-driven pubs with rooms.

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Keith Liddell, founder of the Inn Collection Group.

Playing a pivotal role throughout the company’s rapid expansion and acquisitions, Keith was influential in carving out his vision for The Inn Collection Group to expand its presence outside its north east heartland, acquiring sites in Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire and County Durham.

A further 40-bedroom inn is under construction on Sunderland’s seafront in Seaburn, while the group has accelerated growth plans to reach 22 sites by March 31, 2021.

Keith said: “I have been very proud to be part of The Inn Collection Group’s journey, through the good times as well as the current challenging situation we have all experienced and continue to do so right now.

“The Inn Collection Group has achieved countless accolades and successes over the years and its ability for continual evolution in its people and estate is down to the unique team behind it. I know I am stepping down safe in the knowledge that the company is in the best possible hands.

“We have exciting plans for the future as the group continues its buy and build expansion. This will provide much needed employment opportunities across the north of England, bringing vital economic spend in the communities around our sites and of course, giving our customers more superb places to eat, drink, sleep and explore from.

“But after 45 years of working non-stop in the trade, I’m due a bit of a break and being the customer,” he joked.

Managing director Sean Donkin said: “Keith has taught us how to work hard whilst having fun and experiencing the most amazing opportunities. The lessons and memories he has created will be here for many years to come. We wish Keith well in his retirement.”

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