Lancashire leisure group planning expansion funded by £26m banking facility

Falcon Hall

Barclays Bank has awarded a £26m facility to a Lancashire luxury, boutique hotel and wedding venue operator to support its growth plans.

Clitheroe-based Bowland Inns & Hotels, trading as James’ Places, has moved its banking to Barclays, which has provided the financial facility to refinance existing debt and provide significant additional headroom to support future growth and acquisition plans.

The group owns and operates an eclectic collection of historic buildings in the Ribble Valley, Lune Valley and the Yorkshire Dales, boasting a portfolio of eight sites including boutique hotels, exclusive wedding venues, gastropubs and restaurants.

Holmes Mill, a multi-award winning textile mill conversion is home to the group’s Bowland Brewery, Beer Hall and Food Hall, in addition to a 39-bedroom hotel and Everyman Cinema.

Turnover for financial year 2021/22 will exceed £23m and group employees will number more than 450 by the year end.

The new financing package will enable James’ Places to pursue an ambitious expansion and acquisition strategy across the North West in the coming years.

James Warburton, James’ Places managing director, said: “We have been talking about the move for a number of years and it’s a great testament to Rob and his team that we have finally got the deal done, despite everything that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown at us.

“We can now look ahead to building a bigger and better business. We have solid foundations, we have a great operations team and we now have a great banking partner.”

Rob Morland, Barclays relationship director put together the funding package for the deal and lifted the day to day banking to Barclays. He said: “I have been in discussions with James and the senior management team for a number of years and during that time have been impressed with the outstanding quality of the group’s offering and resilience in the face of the COVID pandemic.

“The strength of the senior management team means James’ Places have emerged stronger from recent challenges faced by the whole industry and I look forward to a long and successful partnership, helping to bring their future growth plans to fruition.”