The site is set to reopen in July after a refurbishment. It was set up as a vehicle managed by ACI with capital raised from a combination of loan notes and equity from private individuals and senior debt provided by Downing LLP.
Operations director Howard Nye said: “We will be keeping the quirky and nostalgic feel but it’s a great opportunity to restore the farmhouse at Redcoats to its natural charm.
“The project will ultimately include the conversion of two Grade II-listed barns into further bedrooms and a 120-cover wedding venue. After the initial refurbishment, our main focus is to establish the farm-to-table restaurant using natural ingredients grown in our own garden or sourced direct from farms nearby.”
Anglian Country Inns (ACI) managing director James Nye told MCA that bringing in outside investors for the first time has been "an eye opener".
“This is the largest project we’ve ever done so we’ve taken the decision to look at outside investment. The only equity we’ve given away is on the stand-alone vehicle for the farmhouse and we’ve put out some loan notes to friends and family to try to raise a small amount of money ourselves, which was successful,” said Nye.
“It’s been a bit of an eye opener for us because it’s the first time we have dealt with big outside funders other than banks but working with Downing has been great because they have acted as true partner.”
Nye said the project would involve significant development, which would be the focus for the group in the short term, but said further expansion was on the cards.
He said: “We have a good track record of seizing opportunities when they arise and we have an eclectic estate, which means we can look quite widely at various options. We’ve always got one or two pokers in the fire but, for the moment, this is the focus.”
He said trading over the past few months had been strong, with June particularly busy.
ACI also operates the White Horse, Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk; the Jolly Sailors, Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk; the Cricketers, Weston, Hertfordshire; the Fox, Willian, Hertfordshire; Hermitage Rd bar & restaurant, Hitchin, Hertfordshire; Water Lane bar & restaurant, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire; and the King’s Head, Letheringsett, Norfolk.
For more information, visit MCA.