Investment deal for restaurant

Nigel Haworth, Richard Matthewman and Craig Bancroft
Nigel Haworth, Richard Matthewman and Craig Bancroft
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A restaurant chain led by celebrity chef Nigel Haworth has secured a major investment deal.

The Northcote Group, run by Mr Haworth and business partner, Craig Bancroft, has been backed by investors Richard and Lynda Matthewman in a deal which will see it press ahead with expansion plans.

The deal will allow it to grow its Ribble Valley Inns business with “six to eight” new pubs every year and upgrade its flagship Northcote hotel.

In a statement, the company said it would take on the RVI business with “a renewed vigour” by reinvesting in its existing portfolio, which includes the Clog and Billycock at Pleasington and The Three Fishes at Mitton.

It added: “It is also the intention of the directors to continue to expand Ribble Valley Inns by the acquisition of a further six to eight pubs during the coming years throughout the North West.”

The company also committed to ensuring its Northcote at the Rovers brand, which provides matchday service at Blackburn Rovers FC, would “remain a significant part” of the group.

The upgrade of Northcote at Langho, near Blackburn will see it boost the number of rooms from 10 to 24 with improvements to its grounds and conferencing facilities to keep it “at the forefront of the industry.”

A group said: “These developments will take place over time and will be carefully planned to minimise the impact on the current operation.”

It added Mr Haworth and Mr Bancroft, who have been business partners for nearly 30 years, would continue as joint managing directors of the group and “welcomed” the Matthewmans to the business.

Mr Matthewman was a director of Blackburn Rovers during and is the son-in-law of the club’s late owner and benefactor, Jack Walker.