Around 50 new jobs could be created when a Northumberland hotel gets a new lease of life.
The 27-bedroom Percy Arms Hotel at Otterburn has been taken over by Duncan Fisher and his award-winning Northumberland leisure company, Newton Hall Northumberland Ltd.
The company, which owns Newton Hall and the Joiners’ Arms at Newton-by-the-Sea, is planning to turn the hotel into a stunning wedding venue and create a new village pub.
Mr Fisher has pledged to make a ‘substantial investment’ into the hotel, creating around 50 new jobs.
“We already have 73 employees at Newton-by-the Sea who work at our other sites,” said Mr Fisher, who also heads up The Apartment Group, which owns a range of restaurants and bars across the North East.
“And we will be creating a range of new jobs once the work on The Percy Arms is complete, employing completely from the local area as we have done at our other Northumberland venues.”
He added that jobs would be available for ‘people in their teens up to their 70s and that there would be a range of opportunities for people with and without previous experience.
“We are going to create somewhere unique but with real rustic charm and we are sure everyone will be excited when they see the fantastic plans we have,” he said.
“We know a lot of people in the immediate area were very upset when the hotel closed so hopefully the fact we are going to turn it into a really spectacular location will show our continued commitment to Northumberland.”
The hotel has been closed since 2012 when it went into liquidation and the plan is now to start work almost immediately bringing it up to scratch, with the aim of reopening at the end of the year.
Newton Hall has won two national wedding venue awards and The Joiners Arms is the only coaching inn in Northumberland to be awarded five stars by Visit England.
Mr Fisher said: “Anyone who has visited our other venues knows how high our standards are and they’ll see those same standards at The Percy Arms.
“There is certainly a great deal of interest in the hotel. We have only just taken it over and we’ve already had a number of inquiries for weddings.”
The sale was handled by hotel leisure specialists, Christie + Co, acting on behalf of insolvency practitioners Begbies Traynor.
Christie + Co director Mark Worley said there had been a great deal of interest in the site in recent years but that “the scale of investment required to restore and upgrade the site, has put off the vast majority of potential buyers.”
He said: “The Percy Arms is such an iconic building which plays an important part in Otterburn.
“We are delighted that we have found a buyer who will not only restore and improve the building, but someone who will invest on such a scale and with such style and taste, that the village will once again have a venue to be proud of.”