Baiting House Group to launch fourth site

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Teamwork pays off: Tony Gibb (l) of law firm Thursfield and Andrew Cornthwaite of the Baiting House group
Teamwork pays off: Tony Gibb (l) of law firm Thursfield and Andrew Cornthwaite of the Baiting House group
The Baiting House Group has acquired the Crown Inn in Hopton Wafers, near Ludlow in Shropshire.

The pub chain, which has further plans to expand, was set up by Andrew Cornthwaite, a former lawyer and his wife Kate Lane, a part-time sheep farmer.

It was formed when they bought their local pub, the Baiting House, at Upper Sapey, which had closed after years of decline.

They reopened the Baiting House three years ago and also bought and developed the Admiral Rodney at Berrow Green, Worcestershire, and the Stockton Cross at Kimbolton, Herefordshire.

The latest pub, which has been rebranded as the Hopton Crown, means 20 staff have kept their jobs at the gastropub-hotel.

Community venue

Cornthwaite said: “It was a pleasing moment when the deal went through, especially because it meant we’ve managed to retain all the staff and keep such an important community venue open.

“The Hopton Crown currently has 20 bedrooms, a 70-plus-cover restaurant and a cosy bar with a big inglenook fireplace.

“Our plan is to keep all the good bits, but to renovate the public areas and bedrooms – particularly the bathrooms and to turn some of the bedrooms back into two luxury waterside cottages for holiday rentals.”

Retain staff

The Baiting House Group was assisted by Midlands law firm Thursfields in the deal. 

Tony Gibb, director of the commercial property team at Thursfields, said: “We were delighted to help Andrew to acquire his third, and now his fourth venue in his growing portfolio of gastropubs and hotels.”

Gareth Burge, director of the corporate team at Thursfields, said “The Crown Inn went into receivership before the busy Christmas period but, by acting quickly to buy it as a going concern, the Baiting House Group has managed to retain all the staff and keep what is a stunning local going.”

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