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Chestnut Group acquires two pubs from Agellus Hotels

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East Anglia-based company the Chestnut Group has acquired two pubs on the Suffolk coast between Southwold and Aldeburgh.

The Ship at Dunwich (pictured) and the Westleton Crown have been sold by Agellus Hotels to allow its owners Mark and Rachel Harrod to focus on its three remaining sites: Tuddenham Mill, near Newmarket, Suffolk, and two pubs at Thornham on the North Norfolk coast, the Chequers and the Lifeboat.

Philip Turner, who left his career in the City as global head of structuring at Royal Bank of Scotland to launch the Chestnut Group in 2012, said that with five properties near Cambridge, Newmarket, Sudbury and in Bury St Edmunds “it was a natural progression” expand to the coast.

“We very much look forward to further getting to know the local community and all the nuances of each area. Our job is to bring out the best of each site and the surrounding area.”

crown-inn
The Westleton Crown

The Ship at Dunwich, located close to the ruins of a monastery, features 16 bedrooms, while the Westleton Crown has 34 bedrooms.

Mark Harrod, said: “We are extremely proud of all we have achieved with the Ship at Dunwich and the Westleton Crown, and now we have decided to hand the ownership over to the Chestnut Group, who very much share the same vision for the region. We look forward to working closely with them in the transition period to ensure the best outcome for our colleagues and guests.”

He added that Agellus Hotels now intends to extend the number of bedrooms at its two Norfolk pubs and further develop them under the leadership of managing director Rufus Harper and general manager Ewen Thomson, while the guests’ experience across the food and accommodation will be enhanced at Tuddenham Mill, headed by chef patron, Acorn Award winner, Lee Bye.

“This is an exciting time for these properties; our teams, our suppliers, our supportive local community and importantly enhancing our guests’ quality experience,” concluded Harrod.

The Blackbirds Inn closed ‘until further notice’ following fire >>

Business profile: the Chestnut Group >>

Tuddenham Mill appoints Lee Bye as chef patron >>

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