Group expands Yorkshire imprint with heritage Knaresborough site deal

Expanding pubco The Inn Collection Group has completed on a seventh Yorkshire site as part of its strategic expansion in the county.

The group has acquired Knaresborough’s historic The Dower House and Spa in an undisclosed deal, taking its total estate count to 26.

The 38-bedroom, Grade II listed building features a spa and swimming pool along with several bars, lounges and function areas. It will continue trading under The Inn Collection Group’s ‘Eat, Drink, Sleep and Explore’ award-winning brand.

A complex refurbishment programme is scheduled for 2022 during which a sympathetic restoration and remodelling of the building will be carried out to enhance its environment, improve accessibility and align the site with The Inn Collection Group’s quality, food-driven pubs with rooms offer.

The Inn Collection Group’s managing director Sean Donkin said: “We are excited to be growing our foothold in Yorkshire with the addition of The Dower House and Spa. It is a tremendous site, steeped in character and history in a stunning destination location.

“We are delighted to be bringing Dower House and its team into The Inn Collection Group family. It’s a great time for us to be joining the community in Knaresborough as we enter the festive period. We’re looking forward to investing in the team and site and realising Dower House’s full potential while preserving the heritage and charm it holds.”

He added: “As an established brand in the northeast and west of England, we are looking to increase our presence and customer base here in Yorkshire, with our proven offering of food-driven pubs with quality accommodation.”

The 15th century Dower House and Spa is centrally located in Knaresborough, close to its railway station which has connections to Leeds and York. The Victorian spa town of Harrogate is nearby, along with the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks.

The deal follows the Alchemy-backed group’s recent acquisitions of landmark venues Dean Court Hotel in York and The Ripon Spa Hotel in Ripon as The Inn Collection Group continues to deliver new and organic growth strategies in Yorkshire, supported with banking from OakNorth.

The group reopened its historic Helmsley venue The Black Swan in October following the completion of the first phase of a multi-million pound refurbishment at the North Yorkshire site. A further 19 rooms have been added following the completion of a second phase this month, while 25 additional rooms will be completed in the spring, taking The Black Swan’s bedroom total to 59.

Elsewhere in Yorkshire, The Inn Collection Group owns the popular Whitby venue The Stables and the award-winning The King’s Head Inn at Newton-under-Roseberry.

In Northallerton, works are ongoing to redevelop the town’s former police station which the group bought in December 2020. It will reopen as a 32-bedroom pub with rooms – The Northallerton Inn – in spring 2022.

Outside Yorkshire, The Inn Collection Group’s estate includes sites in Northumberland, the Lake District, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Lancashire where it is developing two adjacent properties, The Lindum and The Carlton to form one seafront site in Lytham St Annes.

Ward Hadaway corporate partner Imogen Holland provided legal advice on the Dower House acquisition with Silverstone on pre diligence. Julian Troup, Head of UK Hotels Agency at Colliers brokered the confidential sale acting on behalf of the owners.