Robin Sheppard from Bespoke Hotels and entrepreneur Luke Johnson have led the acquisition of The Green Dragon Hotel in Hereford.
The 83-bedroom hotel has been taken over by a consortium of investors, including Julian Vaughan, former commercial director of hotel marketing company Journey, supported by Christian Dangerfield who is acting for Blue Sky Corporate Finance, alongside Sheppard and Johnson, who owns Penyard House Hotel near Ross-on Wye.
Now the group plan to restore the hotel to its former glory, with a refurbishment project due to start at the Grade-II listed building in the winter.
As well as its 83 bedrooms, which represent almost a quarter of Hereford’s hotel inventory, the 120-cover restaurant, coffee lounge, two bars and function facilities will also be given a makeover.
The 16th century hotel in Broad Street was previously owned by Mahal Hotels and was acquired off a guide price of £2.95m.
Sheppard will now become chairman of the Green Dragon Hotel’s board of directors, as well as continuing his role as founder and chairman of Bespoke Hotels, despite the company not managing the new hotel.
Vaughan has been appointed managing director at the new hotel, having been involved in transforming his wife’s family home at Dewsall Court into a popular wedding and events venue.
Vaughan said: “There has been a coaching inn on the site of The Green Dragon Hotel for hundreds of years and we feel strongly that it should be a thriving and dynamic part of Hereford’s future.
“We plan to celebrate its past, while creating a 21st century meeting-point for Herefordshire’s leisure and business communities.
“Five million tourists visit our county every year but relatively few come into the city – we see that as a real opportunity.
Robin Sheppard added: “The Green Dragon Hotel is a real gem and its restoration should be a tremendous boost for Hereford and Herefordshire.
“Julian and Christian have some very exciting ideas about how to reclaim its position at the heart of the city with broader national appeal.”
The hotel business will continue to trade as normal and remain open during the phased refurbishment programme.