The Chestnut Group secures another £2.5m funding for expansion

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Three Blackbirds in Wooditton near Newmarket is the latest acquisition for The Chestnut Group
The Three Blackbirds in Wooditton near Newmarket is the latest acquisition for The Chestnut Group

Related tags: Bury st edmunds, Suffolk

Suffolk-based hospitality business The Chestnut Group has raised £2.5m through the Government's Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) to help with its plans to expand to 10 sites by the end of 2018. 

The group, founded by former banker Philip Turner in 2013, has just acquired its fifth site - The Three Blackbirds - in Newmarket. 

Turner, who has managed to raise £5.6m over the last three years and expects his business to turnover £5m by the end of the year, said there was a growing demand for a quality hospitality offering in East Anglia as more people migrated to the area from London. 

“East Anglia is a hospitality hotspot right now," he said. “The changing population and demographic are drawing hospitality businesses out of London and we believe this particular region is ready for more quality destinations to dine and stay in.  

“We’re extremely grateful for the continual support from our shareholder base and for helping us to push through to the next exciting phase. We’re thrilled to be taking on a new site and we have a keen interest in Newmarket and helping to further develop its potential as an attractive destination.”

Acquisition

The acquisition of The Three Blackbirds follows the opening of The Chestnut Group's third site, The White Horse, which opened for business in Easton in June. The company's fourth site, a nine-bedroom hotel and pub - The Northgate - in Bury St Edmonds is due to open later this year following refurbishment.  

The 17th-century inn in Woodditton, just outside Newmarket, will be refurbished before re-opening spring 2017, ready for racing season.

The Chestnut Group also plans to add nine bedrooms to the business to host race-goers although it will focus on retaining its role as a community hub with a 'sensitive refurbishment' of the bar area and the creation of an informal restaurant with grill and wood-fired pizzas. 

Turner said: "We’re thrilled to be taking on The Three Blackbirds. Newmarket exudes history, it is the envy of the horseracing world and the region as a whole is seeing an influx of people with a changing demographic.

“With inward investment, Newmarket is beginning to thrive and we are delighted to further develop its potential as a leading hospitality destination. We look forward to consulting the local parish council to share our plans for The Three Blackbirds with the local community." 

Earlier this year the company also launched an in-house training academy​ to enable it to staff its growing business. 

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