Northumberland wedding specialist secures £5.7m deal to deliver expansion plans and new hotel

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A wedding specialist has secured a £5.7m investment to pave the way for further expansion and create 40 new jobs.

The Doxford Group, which operates Charlton Hall Estate and Doxford Barns, has agreed the finance package with NatWest to enhance its current offer.

Funds will facilitate the ongoing expansion of Charlton Hall Estate with a new 15-bedroom hotel, restaurant and bar, set to open early 2023.

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Doxford Barns will see a significant expansion in the form of seven new bedrooms, bridal boutique and event reception area with work due to start later this year.

Michael Cross of NatWest with Mark Gubbins of Doxford Group at Charlton Hall.Michael Cross of NatWest with Mark Gubbins of Doxford Group at Charlton Hall.
Michael Cross of NatWest with Mark Gubbins of Doxford Group at Charlton Hall.

Richard Shell, owner and director of The Doxford Group, once did a summer internship programme in Edinburgh with NatWest Group before eventually setting out on his own business venture.

He said: “This is a monumental moment for The Doxford Group as it allows us to deliver on the short-term projects we’ve been working on for several months including the launch of our new hotel at Charlton Hall Estate making it a leisure destination in Northumberland like no other as well as our plans to develop Doxford Barns to enhance what we have built over the past seven years.

"Our plans will generate 40 new jobs within The Doxford Group which is great for the county.

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“To have the support from NatWest is significant and something I am grateful for as they share our ambition for further expansion in the way of acquisitions of more venues and our hotel.

Doxford Barns.Doxford Barns.
Doxford Barns.

"I started my career with the group in Edinburgh which drove me to act on my entrepreneurial skills, open my first wedding and events venue, Doxford Barns and now take The Doxford Group to new and exciting heights.”

Group finance director Mark Gubbins added: “This deal is the culmination of several months work and to have secured such funding as the hospitality sector recovers from the pandemic, and faces new challenges, is testimony to the offering that we possess at Doxford.”

Michael Cross, relationship director at NatWest, said: “Richard, Mark and the team at The Doxford Group are at an exciting period in terms of the organisation’s growth and development.

"Throughout our time working together, I have been impressed by the management team’s vision for the business and how they have grown the business.”