Suffolk-based hospitality company the Chestnut Group plans to expand to 10 sites in East Anglia by the end of 2018 after completing a £2.5m capital-raising initiative.
The group currently has four sites across East Anglia in Newmarket, Cambridge, Woodbridge and Bury St Edmunds, and recently completed an equity raise in excess of £2.5m with a total of £5.6m raised over three years.
Set up in 2012 by former banker Philip Turner, the Chestnut Group recently added the Three Blackbirds in Newmarket to its portfolio, due to reopen in spring 2017. Its portfolio also includes the eight-bedroom Packhorse Inn near Newmarket, the Rupert Brooke in Cambridge, the White Horse near Woodbridge, and the nine-bedroom boutique restaurant the Northgate in Bury St Edmunds.
The investment raise, 50% of which was supported by the group's existing shareholders with the remainder from new sources including three London-based wealth management firms, will support the group's expansion plans.
Dan Grigg was also recently appointed group executive head chef, while a number of employee and training initiatives were introduced, including an employee equity incentive plan and the Chestnut Hospitality Academy. The company is projecting a group turnover of £5m by the end of 2016.
Turner believes the changing population and demographic of East Anglia as the property market fluctuates and younger people and families migrate away from London are drawing hospitality businesses out of London. "We believe this particular region is ready for more quality destinations to dine and stay in," he said.
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