Historic Yorkshire site re-opens following refurbishment

The Inn Collection Group has reopened its historic The Black Swan in North Yorkshire following the completion of the first phase of a major refurbishment to the site.

The northern operator, who bought the 15th century former coaching inn in Helmsley in 2020, has completed the first phase of careful plans to repurpose and enhance the landmark site’s bar and dining areas.

The six-month project has included the refurbishment of the first phase of 15 rooms and the remodelling of existing internal spaces while preserving the site’s original lounges and main bar area to align with its food-driven pubs with rooms operations model.

The addition of a new West Bar has created an intimate area for private dining or smaller groups at the 146-cover inn. A purpose-built commercial kitchen and new cellar cooling system will optimise food and beverage for exceptional quality performance.

Managing director of The Inn Collection Group, Sean Donkin said: “We are absolutely delighted to see this magnificent site return to life. We have been meticulous in our planning and throughout the renovation process to preserve its charm and character, while enhancing the environment and facilities for our customers to enjoy.

“The Inn Collection Group excel at investing in unique and venerable sites like this and unlocking their full potential through sympathetic restorations. The reopening of The Black Swan has been long awaited and we are proud to open our doors once again as a first-rate venue to eat, drink, sleep and explore North Yorkshire from.”

The second phase of the redevelopment is underway to repurpose space from the site’s former kitchen into additional bedrooms along with refurbishments to existing rooms in the inn’s garden wing which will create a 60-room site in total.

Designer Barry Nicholson, director of BXB Interiors, was responsible for the interiors of The Black Swan where the brief was to breathe new life back into the property while respecting its heritage and character.

Said Nicholson: “We were very careful to blend new works in with the old, so it didn’t jar in any way. We used Victorian finishes to ensure the designs would meld, while we kept a lot of the older sections just the way they were, with only cosmetic touches to enhance these.

“Many paintings and decorative articles were re-used. The result is a wonderfully relaxed, charming environment that is welcoming for everyone, whether you’ve been out walking on the moors with the dog or are meeting for cocktails. You can step right in here and relax.”

The Black Swan will operate under The Inn Collection Group’s award-winning food-driven pub with rooms model, with homecooked, seasonal pub fare served all day, every day alongside accommodation.

It currently employs a team of 36 staff which will increase to 50 as a result of the expansion and redevelopment and the group is actively recruiting across all areas of operations there.

General manager of The Black Swan Dave Walker said: “We’re looking forward to being part of the community here at Helmsley with a fabulous inn that people can proudly enjoy – both as customers or as their workplace.”

“The facilities we have are a first-class working environment for our growing staff team. I’m really excited by our ‘Rolls-Royce’ of kitchens while the new cellar cooling system will ensure our beers are exceptional.

“The refurbishment has allowed us to expand our staffing team, so it’s a great opportunity for people to be part of a dynamic team with outstanding, new facilities and opportunities for career development.”

The Inn Collection Group’s 25-strong portfolio includes a further four sites across Yorkshire, including The King’s Head Inn at Newton-under-Roseberry, The Stables at Whitby, The Dean Court Hotel in York and The Ripon Spa Hotel at Ripon, which is currently closed for renovations.

Elsewhere, the Alchemy-backed group has pubs with rooms in Northumberland, the Lake District, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Lancashire, with further acquisitions in the pipeline as it continues to widen its customer base and group presence across the north of England.