Calcot Hotels is to take over the running of the 21-bedroom Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchand on the Northumberland-Durham border after entering into a joint venture agreement.
The property is currently closed and will reopen in April 2013 following a £1.5m renovation. Owned by Lord Crewe's Charity (formed in 1721 under the terms of the will of Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham), the hotel will be operated on a long lease by Calcot Hotels, which owns Calcot Manor, Barnsley House and the Village Pub in Gloucestershire.
It was previously managed by J&G Inns, which went into administration last year.
Richard Ball (pictured), chairman of Calcot Hotels and the 2006 Hotelier of the Year, said the venture was a one-off and did not indicate a new strategy of managing properties.
"Our key objective is to restore the Lord Crewe Arms and establish it as a really affordable country hotel of quality with extremely comfortable and well-kept rooms," Ball said. "We aim to forge a strong reputation for great food, wine and beer alongside genuine hospitality for all. Sensible pricing will bring great value for money, while reflecting the level of investment required to attain and maintain high standards."
Dating back to the 1700s, the Grade II-listed hotel is located within what is one of only six listed villages in the country - and one that is regarded as one of the most picturesque in the North-east. It is surrounded by the open moors of the North Pennines and is a 20-minute drive from Hadrian's Wall.
The new interiors at the Lord Crewe Arms, which will be designed by Nicky Farquhar, design director at Calcot Hotels, will be intended to translate the antiquity and architecture of the property and the village in a contemporary manner, using the colours and contours of the Northumberland landscape for inspiration.
By Janet Harmer
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