Group adds to hotel portfolio

Owner: Simon Rigby
Owner: Simon Rigby
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The operators of luxury Lancashire hotel The Villa have taken over a nearby Premier Inn.

The Kirkham hotel, off Junction 3 of the M55, has been acquired from former owners Whitbread for an undisclosed sum.

It will now undergo an extensive refurbishment as it is rebranded to The Villa Express.

The Villa, in Wrea Green, is a former 19th century gentleman’s residence which now offers 31 rooms with en suite accommodation, suites and state rooms.

The former Premier Inn will add an additional 28 rooms to The Villa Group.

Along with The Villa Hotel, the group is also preparing to open new Lake District venue The Villa Levens in Spring 2014, is the exclusive club caterer for Preston North End Football Club, operates outside catering arm The Villa Outside and sells its own brand of luxury food under the Villa Finest brand.

Simon Rigby, entrepreneur and owner of the Villa Group, was advised on the acquisition by David Hill, Commercial Property partner at Lancashire law firm Napthens.

Mr Hill said: “The last 12 months have brought major changes to The Villa Group, with significant investment in The Villa Hotel to become a flagship venue for the area.

“This latest acquisition will offer a major expansion and cement the group’s place as one of the leading hotel groups in the area.”

The new venue will be managed by Jayne Taylor, also general manager of The Villa hotel. The Villa Express will continue to operate as normal while it is refurbished.

Jayne Taylor added: “The Villa Express is in a prime location off the M55, and will be a great addition to the group’s portfolio.

“We will be aiming to attract those looking for weekend stays, mid-week breaks and corporate customers, and feel we are in an excellent position to do this.”