The proceeds from the sale of the four-star, 25-bedroom Doxford Hall Hotel, near Alnwick, Northumberland, which has been has been sold for around the asking price of £9m, is being donated to cancer care charities.
Brian Burnie has sold the hotel to Robert and Gina Parker, who already own function venues Guyzance Hall and Eshott Hall in Northumberland, and the Tedsmore Estate in Shropshire, to concentrate on his charity work. He spent 15 years refurbishing the property before opening it as a hotel two years ago.
"After 17 years this is an important milestone for me and my family and of course we will be sad to leave," Burnie said. "However, I am reassured that Robert and Gina will continue to operate Doxford Hall to the same high standards as ourselves."
The Parkers' ambitious plans for Doxford Hall include achieving red stars and Northumberland's only Michelin star for its 60-cover restaurant.
"Our aim is to take this hotel forward ensuring that it becomes one of the most exclusive country house hotels in Northumberland," said Robert Parker, who was an Anglican vicar until a career change led him to develop a chain of care homes which he sold in 2006.
A stringent local sourcing policy and employment of local staff is to be central to his development of Doxford Hall.
"It is very important that we become part of the local economy because Northumberland is very much going to become our home," he said.
The hotel, which is available for private banqueting for up to 350, has extensive leisure facilities including a swimming pool, spa and fitness room.
By Janet Harmer
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