Six-figure loan helps give holiday destination a fresh lease of life

A holiday destination in Birdforth, North Yorkshire, forced to close during the pandemic, has reopened its doors to guests with an ongoing refurbishment plan by its new owners.

Birdforth Hall is near York and dates back to 1685. It is a manor house surrounded by four converted barns, which now act as holiday lets.

The property had to close its doors at the start of the UK’s first national lockdown, and was put up for sale by its previous owners in March 2020.

But it has now been purchased by husband-and-wife Sue and Paul Sadler, with the support of a six-figure loan from Lloyds Bank.

The couple have now kickstarted the refurbishment of the site’s four holiday cottages and pool complex, and are preparing to welcome the cottages’ first guests in over a year this Christmas.

As well as refreshing the cottages’ interiors, the couple now plan to install hot tubs, and will also be upgrading the interior of the main hall itself in the New Year, while retaining its original features – such as the building’s 300-year-old wood panelling.

The refurb will include creating space to host weddings – both ceremonies and receptions – with guests able to hire the whole venue to host family and friends.

Sue Sadler, co-owner, said: “Paul and I have always been keen to move into the hospitality business – in the past we have hosted weddings at our own farm, so have dipped our toes into that world. So when the opportunity to invest in Birdforth arose, we knew it was one we couldn’t miss.

“Birdforth is already a well-loved holiday destination. With easy access to the A19, it seamlessly blends your classic country escape with a city break and an unrivalled selection of local pubs and restaurants.

“We’re very excited to welcome back customers old and new, and to restore the estate to its former glory.

“By refreshing the look and feel, we’re retaining the warm, family-friendly feel that Birdforth is known for, while opening up new opportunities for bigger groups to enjoy the estate and surrounding area.”

Alongside the refurbishments, Birdforth Hall is working with a local butcher who can offer guests beef sourced from the estate’s own pedigree long-horn cows.

And the grounds are also home to the Sadler’s prize pig, Bella, who has become a local tourist attraction in her own right.

Craig Smith, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “The UK hospitality industry has experienced a huge resurgence post-pandemic, and Sue and Paul have led the charge when it comes to capitalising on opportunities in the market.

“We’re pleased to be backing their investment in restoring what’s not only an iconic estate, but a key part of Yorkshire’s wider hospitality offering.

“We look forward to working closely with Sue and Paul as they continue to make Birdforth bigger and better in the coming months.”

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