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Hospitality training provider buys Manchester hotel

By Peter Ruddick , 10-Jan-2012
Last updated on 10-Jan-2012 at 17:21 GMT2012-01-10T17:21:55Z

Blue Training UK has acquired the Bower Hotel in Chadderton, Greater Manchester, and will take over the day to day running of the hotel as well as launching a new catering and hospitality academy for young people in the area on the same site.

Following the purchase for an undisclosed amount, the company now plans to invest further funds to refurbish the reception, bar and function rooms of the hotel as well as turning another building on the grounds into a training academy providing apprenticeships and other courses.

The courses provided on site at the hotel will include cooking and food production, front of house reception, beverage service and housekeeping.

Apprenticeships and work experience in a working hotel

Philip Healey, director of Blue Training UK who will relocate to the hotel from Salford, said: "It has taken us 18 months to identify the right site on which to launch the academy concept. We chose the Bower Hotel due to its excellent transport links and the fact that it has a good, well established reputation."

"The idea behind the academy is to provide youngsters aged 19-years-old and under with the opportunity to build a career in the hospitality sector by receiving training and work experience in a fully functioning hotel all from one location," Healey added.

Each apprentice will study on site for three months before starting full employment elsewhere and returning to the hotel one day a week to finish the course

Victorian Hotel with 72 bedrooms

The Bower Hotel was built in the Victorian era by a wealthy local cotton mill owner and has more than 70 bedrooms, a restaurant and conference facilities.

Blue Training UK was founded by Philip Healey in 2003 and employs 115 staff providing training in customer service, leadership and management and sales as well as hospitality related courses. The commercial banking team for NatWest in Bolton provided Blue Training UK with funding to help complete the hotel acquisition.