Alchemy-backed Inn Collection Group plans to more than double the size of its portfolio to 21 sites by 2022 following £10m loan from OakNorth Bank

  • OakNorth has provided Northumberland’s largest independent accommodation provider, The Inn Collection Group, with an additional £10m funding package to support its expansion;
  • This is the second loan OakNorth has provided to the group – the first was in June last year enabling the business to open two new sites, bringing its total portfolio to nine inns;
  • Since then, the accommodation provider was sold to Alchemy Partners which manages over £1.8bn of assets, and now hopes to more than double the size of its portfolio to 21 inns by 2022, creating numerous new jobs in the process;
  • OakNorth recently announced plans to hire three lending directors who will be based out of its Manchester office, specifically to deal with increasing demand from businesses in the North of England;
  • The North East of England, where eight of its nine inns are located, is very popular with tourists – in the six months to June 2018, the region experienced a 17 percent increase in tourism[1].

OakNorth, the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has provided The Inn Collection Group – one of North East England’s top leisure operators with nine sites across Northumberland, County Durham and Teesside – with £10m to fund their expansion.

In June last year, The Inn Collection Group which was established in 2006, secured investment from Alchemy Partners, the British private equity firm which has invested over £3.5bn since its inception in 1997 and has £1.8bn of assets. Over the last 12 years, The Inn Collection Group has become a market leader in developing contemporary inns providing accommodation, food and drink to leisure and business customers. It currently has 271 rooms across its nine sites but plans to increase this to almost 900 across 21 sites by 2022 with the finance from both OakNorth and Alchemy.

The Inn Collection Group’s Managing Director Sean Donkin, said: “It has been an incredible 12 months for The Inn Collection Group – we’ve secured backing from one of the UK’s most reputable private equity firms and have successfully secured two loans from OakNorth, a bank that prides itself on the high quality of its loan book. As we look ahead to the future, we are keen to continue building our portfolio with sites that fit with our proposition of providing high-quality accommodation, service, food and beverages, and are delighted to have the support of both OakNorth and Alchemy Partners to help us achieve this.”

Stuart Blair, Debt Finance Director at OakNorth, said: “The North East experienced record-breaking levels of tourism in 2018, according to figures from Visit England. The number of visitors was up across all the Northern Powerhouse regions, but the North East, where most of The Inn Collection Group’s sites are based, recorded the largest rises.

“The fact that the group has managed to secure backing from such an established private equity firm as Alchemy Partners, speaks to the quality of the management team and their ambitious and strategic future growth plans. We were delighted when they returned to us for a second loan and look forward to working with the group on their continued expansion in the future. Last year, we announced plans to hire three lending directors who will be based out of our Manchester office, specifically because we’re seeing more demand from businesses in the North of England.”


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