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Chestnut expand Norfolk footprint

The Lifeboat Inn and The Chequers Inn in the North Norfolk coastal village of Thornham have become the latest acquisition for Chestnut, East Anglia’s fastest-growing hospitality business.

The acquisition accelerates Chestnut’s foothold in the region, through the addition of a further 28 bedrooms – with the opportunity to add more. A 27% increase in the number of overnight stays going into 2023, according to data from Visit North Norfolk, highlighted increasing demands from tourists for accommodation in the area.

The Group recently hired Rob Spillings as Head of Operations Norfolk to help drive the expanding business. The Maltings, Chestnut’s largest development project to date – a 28 bedroomed hotel in Weybourne (near Blakeney) with a barn style restaurant and bar overlooking the sea will open in summer 2024.

Founder and Managing Director, Philip Turner, said of the new additions “We acquired our first property in Norfolk one week prior to lockdown, not an ideal start to the journey.

During Covid we acquired five assets to capitalise on the growth of tourism in the region and the more permanent “work from home” lifestyle. Building community around our properties is a huge priority for us which we tend to do through The Giving Tree – our charitable foundation - as well as ‘loyal local’ cards and winter coffee and cake mornings.

We take our role as a significant regional employer (excess 200 people) seriously and are keen to develop strong relationships with those promoting North Norfolk as the go-to destination. I have known both these pubs for many years and feel privileged that Chestnut has the chance to be part of their future.”

In 2018 Chestnut acquired Suffolk coastal properties - The Ship at Dunwich and The Westleton Crown from Agellus (the vendor). Following that transaction, it was a seamless transition for team and guests – with both pubs going on to receive significant investment.
“Agellus and Chestnut have a proven track record of business activity in past years.

As a board of Directors, we share the belief that this will enable the further development of the team and the Norfolk business itself. It has been a privilege for the Harrod family and the team to be part of two iconic establishments for the past nine years and we thank all the team for their dedication.” Agellus said of the sale.

As demonstrated in 2018, Chestnut will welcome the new team members from both pubs and looks forward to working with them to take the businesses to the next stage. All guest room bookings and table reservations will remain in place