New owners for a country hotel



A North Yorkshire-based country hotel has been purchased by a locally-based husband and wife couple who have been assisted by business and accountancy consultancy MHA Moore and Smalley’s corporate finance team.

The Stone House Hotel, near Hawes in Wensleydale, has been bought by Joe and Holly Hobson from current owners Peter and Tracy Westwood and Tracy’s brother Chris Taplin, all of whom plan to retire from the hotel business after the sale.

The country hotel was originally built in 1908 and has 24 bedrooms, a restaurant and bar that seats 50 and employs around 40 people.

The acquisition represents a career change for Joe and Holly, who recently moved to the area with their two-year-old daughter after leaving full-time duties as solicitors in London. The couple have family roots in Yorkshire and Cumbria, and Holly’s family are former owners of the Grange Hotel in Grange-over-Sands.

“My family has a strong history and experience in the hospitality industry and I’m thrilled that Joe and I can continue this tradition in a community that has once been so welcoming to us,” said Holly Hobson.

“We hope to give back where we can by ensuring a fun working environment for the team, using local suppliers and supporting local businesses wherever possible.”

Joe Hobson added: “The Stone House already has an excellent reputation, a loyal clientele and an incredible team in place. Our main objectives are to retain and support this team as best we can and to build on the extremely high level of We are excited to be part of the local community and help shape the next chapter in the hotel’s story.

MHA Moore and Smalley’s team of advisers was led by the companies’ chief financial officer, Simon Carruthers, and Victoria Dadswell provided tax advice. Richard Robinson, Natalie Ormerod, Ben Mayson, Paul Hardy and Stacy Kinsey of Napthens provided legal advice.

MHA Moore and Smalley’s support also included Joe and Holly’s referral to Greater Manchester-based business finance broker PMD Business Finance. John Platt, head of real estate finance at PMD, secured debt financing from Natwest which helped fund the acquisition.

Simon Carruthers, MHA Moore and Smalley said: “MHA have supported Joe and Holly throughout their move to the area and the acquisition process. They are passionate about the North Yorkshire region and the hospitality industry.

“I am proud that we were able to assist them in their acquisition of an excellent, well-established business and I look forward to seeing the business prosper and grow in the years to come.”

Christie & Co was the selling agent. Manager Mark Worley said: ‘The sale of Stone House Hotel is yet another illustration of the demand for quality hotels and hotels.’

About Michael B. Billingsley

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