The Lincolnshire-based specialist hotel and coaching inn operator announced on 20 May that NatWest had approved an additional £2.5m in funding under CBILS in a move finance director Edward Walsh says allows the company to press ahead with plans to restart the 17-site business.
“This latest round of support from NatWest provides us with sufficient liquidity to see out the next stage of the pandemic and allows us now to focus on reopening the business as and when the easing of Government restrictions allow,” Walsh said of the additional funding.
“The furlough scheme has been a major boost for the sector and has allowed us to protect the jobs of all our employees, while CBILS now provides us the headroom to extend that support right through our supplier base, who have been fantastically supportive throughout.”
As part of its “Covid-19 secure” reopening proposals, The Coaching Inn Group – which broke into The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2020 list in February – also revealed it will be going cashless and launching an order-and-pay app in a bid to minimise contact between staff and guests.
“While we wait to see the full extent of guidance from the Government on how we can reopen, we feel the removal of cash and greater use of technology to aid the guest experience, while keeping our teams safe, makes absolute sense,” CEO Kevin Charity explained.
“We will continue to keep hospitality at the centre of our approach and hope the social distancing measures can be kept to a minimum but, in whatever form they come, we are confident our venues will be among the best placed to continue to operate.”
£1m refurb restarted
Charity also revealed that the group would be resuming its £1m revamp of the Rutland Arms in Bakewell, Derbyshire – which, in February, became the company’s 17th site, and second acquisition since a £22m refinance with NatWest in 2019.
“Naturally, we had to put the project on hold as the country went into lockdown, but now restrictions have eased we are taking the opportunity to complete the project while closed with a view to reopen by the end of July,” he said.
Discussing the Rutland Arms project in February, Charity explained that the site would increase The Coaching Inn Group’s estate to 486 bedrooms as the company looks to build towards a 20-site estate.
• Read the latest digital edition of The Morning Advertiser – for free – by clicking here.