A 19th century Hampshire pub is expanding into holiday lettings to increase revenue with the support of a six-figure loan from Lloyds Bank.
The Northbrook Arms, the only pub in the village of East Stratton, Winchester, was purchased from Lord Northbrook by Kate and Adam Shanley in 2019.
With a background in holiday accommodation letting and two cottages on the other side of Winchester, the couple had plans for this new project back then, but planning permission and the disruption caused by Covid-19 delayed things getting off the ground.
However, with the help of a first-stage £380,000 loan from Lloyds Bank, work is now underway to create five surrounding holiday cottages, of various sizes and sleeping 34 guests in total, which will be followed by an onsite swimming pool, spa and gym.
All works will renovate the site’s original buildings which had started to become dilapidated.
The Northbrook Arms, which currently has a projected annual turnover of £300,000, already employs 10 members of staff, all of whom are currently furloughed.
Kate and Adam have plans to recruit a full-time chef and hospitality manager as soon as the latest lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Owner Kate Shanley said: “We’re based in a very small village with around 50 houses, so the year-round viability of the pub was in question even before the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the industry. The introduction of holiday cottages will create a much more sustainable business whilst saving an incredible property that is rich with history. The support of Lloyds Bank in being able to continue with building work has been vital, and we couldn’t have done it without them. With their ongoing help, we hope to create a five-star experience for visitors, that will result in a successful business that is viable all year round.”