Saturday, 1st October, 2016

Booming Lancashire Golf Hotel Reveals Early Expansion Plans

Story published at 7:18, Monday, February 1st, 2016


Oak Royal Golf and Country Club (from left) Caroline Downes (Director), Kenny Arnott (Manager), Jonathon Townsend (Lloyds) and  Charles Downes (Owner)

Oak Royal Golf and Country Club (from left) Caroline Downes (Director), Kenny Arnott (Manager), Jonathon Townsend (Lloyds) and  Charles Downes (Owner)

A four star hotel in Lancashire has had such a successful first six months that it has already announced plans to expand using support from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The Oak Royal Hotel, in Bury Lane, Withnell, only opened its doors in August, but has now unveiled plans to expand the number of rooms it offers by 25 per cent, from 26 to 32. The new rooms are anticipated to create another 10 new jobs.

The hotel is owned by serial entrepreneur Charles Downes, who started out farming cattle and pigs on his parents’ 25 acre smallholding in Withnell, near Chorley.

He expanded the farm before founding a business supplying catering goods to the licensed trade, and then began developing property locally, specialising in converting old agricultural buildings into homes.

In 2007 he opened the nine-hole Oak Royal Golf & Country Club on the farm, with a restaurant and café in the club house, as well as coarse and fly fishing lakes. His latest development is the Oak Royal Hotel, which has seen a total £2million investment and created more than 40 local jobs.

The hotel is managed by Kenny Arnott, who has a track record working in hotels in Bermuda, Dubai and the United States, most recently as hotel manager of the five star Island of Eriska resort in Argyll.

Kenny said: “The hotel has been doing phenomenally well. We have built of a very strong core team of staff and we have had some fantastic feedback and reviews from our guests.

“Looking forward, weddings will prove critical to our success, so it’s really satisfying that we already have so many booked for next year. Work will shortly get underway on the new rooms and we look forward to being able to welcome more guests.”

The hotel is home to the Lark Hill Restaurant, which offers fine dining, alongside the Bubbles Lounge Bar and Sportsman Bar for informal meals, drinks, snacks and afternoon tea. Another revenue stream is the hotel’s function room the Jubilee Suite, which seats up to 120 people, and The Boardroom, which can host meetings for up to 20 people.

The investment in the hotel was supported by a £600,000 development loan from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Johnathon Townsend, Relationship Manager, SME Banking, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Oak Royal Hotel is a great example of a successful local business that is creating jobs and providing a boost for the local economy.

“This is just the kind of dynamic, ambitious business that we have pledged to support in our SME charter, which includes a commitment to grow our net lending to SMEs by at least £1billion every year until the end of 2017.”

Oak Royal Golf & Country Club www.oakroyalgolf-countryclub.co.uk

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