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November 8, 2023
A successful Northumberland hospitality group is ready for the next stage of its expansion after delivering record financial results.
The Doxford Group, which owns the award-winning Doxford Barns and Charlton Hall in Chathill, more than doubled its annual turnover during its last financial year, from £1.6m to £3.9m, on the back of sustained demand in the wedding and events sector.
Bookings for 2023 at the two venues are already on track to surpass this figure, while the group’s latest venture, The Tempus, a new 15-bedroom hotel, bar and restaurant at Ellingham near Alnwick, is set to open this Saturday (6 May).
Around 30 new jobs will be created with the opening of The Tempus, taking the total number of people employed by the Doxford Group to around 90.
Plans are already being laid for the development of further facilities on the 550-acre Doxford Estate, which will include two additional wedding venues, a micro-brewery and a luxury spa.
The new projects will be realised with the help of a £7m funding package provided by NatWest and will enable the family-owned firm to reach its £20m turnover target within the next five years.
Paul Gainford and Anthony Andreasen of RMT Accountants & Business Advisors are working with the Doxford management team on all aspects of the group’s growth strategy, which will include growth by acquisition where the right opportunities arise.
The Doxford Group opened the converted Doxford Barns venue in 2015, with the Grade II-listed wedding and events venue Charlton Hall following two years later.
The addition of The Tempus will increase the number of guests that can be accommodated on the Estate to 86.
The Doxford Group’s owner and managing director, Richard Shell, says: “Our vision has always been to offer the most magical settings for customers’ weddings and celebration events, and we’re succeeding commercially by consistently living up to this promise.
“There’s been a lot of pent-up demand in the wedding and events market that was realised during our last financial year, and with bookings ahead of where we were this time last year, we’re already looking at surpassing these record numbers.
“Expanding our offering and guest experience, whether in the form of overnight stays, celebration events or an intimate dining experience, has always been part of our development plans, and we will soon be able to do even more with the opening of The Tempus.”
The Doxford Group’s director, Mark Gubbins, added: “Our recent financial performance wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing staff and their efforts have given us a fantastic platform to launch yet more exciting venues.
“While we’re currently focussed on the opening of the Tempus, plans are already in place to create two further wedding venues, as well as a luxurious spa that will rival any in the North of England.
“Paul, Anthony and the RMT team’s guidance will be invaluable in helping to steer us through a period of sustained growth, both organically and through acquisitions, and we’re very excited at what’s ahead.”
Paul Gainford, director at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, commented: “The Doxford Group’s unique venues, the magnificent Northumberland countryside in which they’re set and the commitment to excellence of the whole team is an extremely strong combination.
“There’s an awful lot more to come from this ambitious business, and we’re very pleased to be helping the management team realise its huge growth potential.”