Northamptonshire hotel and golf course unite after £20 million investment

A Northamptonshire hotel and neighbouring golf course have been united under one organisation after a £20 million investment.

Monday, 12th December 2016, 10:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:50 pm

Whittlebury Park and Whittlebury Hall & Spa, near Silverstone, were united by Jeff and Carol Sargeant this month and are now operating as one organisation.

The newly created single business now boasts an award-winning four-star hotel with 254 bedrooms, conference and training centre providing extensive conference and banqueting facilities for over 3000 delegates, an extensive leisure club and one of the UK’s largest spas.

Charles Sargeant, managing director, commented; “I am very much looking forward to leading the combined organisation in this exciting period of expansion.

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“We have one of the largest independent, multi award-winning hotels in the country, one of the best golf courses in the UK and a team of over 400 exceptional people.

“By combining world-class facilities with the personal touch that only a family business can provide, we are in the unique position to deliver long-term investment that will result in the very best service to our customers.”

OakNorth provided the £20 million loan to Whittlebury Park in order for it to acquire the hotel and spa comprising of 213 guest bedrooms, as well as four restaurants (Astons, Murray’s, The Courtyard, and The Terrace Café), a bar, spa and leisure club with an indoor swimming pool.

Commenting on the deal, Jeff Sargeant, executive chairman of Whittlebury Park, and chairman of the Golf Club network, said: “It has taken over three decades to develop Whittlebury Park into the estate it is today and as we look ahead to the future, we are keen to continue building on its success and expand further. Uniting Whittlebury Hall with Whittlebury Park will bring the entire estate into family control, and provides us with the opportunity to increase our corporate proposition and host more guests during peak times such as the Grand Prix.

“The team at OakNorth were extremely supportive throughout this process, ensuring we were kept in the loop on how everything was progressing. Their transparent and flexible approach meant the deal was completed in just six weeks from our initial meeting, rather than the months it’s taken us to get a loan from banks in the past.”

Ben Barbanel, head of debt finance at OakNorth, commented: “Since the Brexit vote, we have seen a significant boom in business as many larger lenders have been slowing down their decision and underwriting processes even more than normal. Given that the economic uncertainty looks set to continue into 2017, we expect to continue seeing this surge in demand over the course of next year.

“What’s more is that we’ve always found that in times of dislocation, the best entrepreneurs find opportunities to grow stronger businesses. Whittlebury’s ambitious plans for expansion is a great example of this – it is a strong family business that is taking strategic steps to ensure the business will thrive for generations to come.”