Seckford Hall set for renovation after £4m sale to budding entrepreneurs

Seckford Hotel-2

Just nine months after going on the market, Seckford Hall in Woodbridge Suffolk has been sold on behalf of its owners and the founders of networking site, Friends Reunited.

The 15th century Grade-II listed hotel has been acquired off a guide price of £4.1m by entrepreneurs Michael Chittenden and Tammy Madge, after being placed on the market earlier this year in March.

The hotel, which has links to the monarchy, is being sold by Stephen and Julie Pankhurst, who first found fame when they started the popular networking site Friends Reunited.

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The Grade-II listed country house hotel, set within 10 acres of land, comprises 32 bedrooms, a restaurant, a range of events rooms and a spa with swimming pool.

A detached former hunting lodge and multiple other outbuildings also form part of the sale.

The pair embarked on a multi-million pound refurbishment of the hotel in 2013, but new owner Chittenden said that it still needed a ‘considerable amount of investment’ to bring the property up to date.

He is also the owner of nearby Woodhall Manor, as well as another exclusive use venue in Cheltenham, Manor By The Lake, along with a number of other properties and regeneration sites.

He says: “This is very much a dream come true for me,” he says. “This was where my parents brought me for special occasions when I was a boy – it was always THE place to go.

“There is a considerable amount of investment needed to upgrade the hotel as it was only partly renovated. We will be investing in those areas to bring the property up to date whilst being sensitive to its history. We will endeavour to make Seckford Hall the place of choice once again by offering good food, fun quirky spaces and importantly, family friendly. Like with all our venues, customer experience is very important and at the centre of all we do. We like to think we sell ‘moments that matter’. We will be spending considerable time training the current team with this in mind as well as deploying extensive recruitment campaigns.”

Paul Barrasford, director in Hotels Agency at Colliers International commented: “East Anglia continues to be a very popular target area from a broad range of buyers for an equally diverse range of hotels. As such, it was no surprise that we received extensive interest for such a special property as Seckford Hall. We are delighted to have sold it expert operator Michael Chittenden. The hotel is in great hands and it will be exciting to see how he takes it forward from here.”

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