Kassam buys conference centre from NatWest

24 February 2000
Kassam buys conference centre from NatWest

Hotelier and football club owner Firoz Kassam has bought Heythrop Park, NatWest's training and conference facility, for just under £15m.

Kassam, who bought Oxford United Football Club last year and owns three hotels in London, including the Holiday Inn King's Cross, plans to turn a third of the stately home into a health farm and a third into a five-star hotel, with the rest remaining a conference centre.

The estate, set in 400 acres in the Cotswold countryside, boasts a 278-bedroom training centre, a large conference centre and training rooms. It has 18 cottages, a golf-course and other sports facilities.

Kassam has also just bought the 33-room Beadlow Manor hotel and golf course in Bedfordshire, which he is to knock down and replace with a 196-bedroom hotel and a leisure centre. And he is building a new stadium and conference centre at Oxford United.

Kassam said he hoped to exploit the "big demand" for modern conference facilities.

"Requirements change with the new technology. There are a lot of places but they don't fully comply with today's requirements, so what you do is build new ones that will comply with the new technology."

He added that Beadlow Manor, which he bought from the receivers, came with planning permission for the changes.

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