The Chestnut Group targets another six sites

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Philip Turner of The Packhorse Inn's owner The Chestnut Group is planning to open more sites over the next four years
Philip Turner of The Packhorse Inn's owner The Chestnut Group is planning to open more sites over the next four years

Related tags: Public house, Bury st edmunds

East-Anglian based hospitality business The Chestnut Group is planning to add another six sites to the business over the next four years as it looks set to complete its ‘largest capital raise’ so far. 

The company, set up by former banker Philip Turner in 2012 after his local pub – now known as the Packhorse Inn - came up for sale, opened its third site The White Horse in Easton earlier this month. Its fourth site, The Northgate in Bury St Edmunds, will open later this summer offering a restaurant and nine bedrooms.

Turner said the business which operates as an EIS business, had been self-funded so far, but was now looking outside to allow it to add up to another six sites to the estate. 

"We have raised money every year since we started the business and now we're in the middle of our largest capital raise which will take us through to the next four to six sites," he said. "It puts us more on the mainstream for major investors."

Targets

Turner said he was currently 'in negotiations' on four sites in East Anglia, a region he said offered great potential for his business. 

"I don’t expect all four of them to happen, but we should be into at least another building project by the end of this year," he said. "In terms of locations, I'll go as far over as the A1 and down as far as Essex." 

Rather than target a total number of sites, Turner, who refuses to define sites as pubs, hotels or restaurants said he would focus on building a quality-led business.  

"By 2020 I would like to have a turnover of £12m to £15m. It will be more a case of optimising the platform we’ve got than open a large number of sites," he said. 

The news comes as the business launches a training academy​ and appoints its first group executive chef​. 

Dan Grigg, who joins the group from Langley Castle in Northumberland, will oversee the kitchen teams at all Chestnut Group sites and will be an integral part of the training academy. 

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