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Tue 23rd Aug 2016 - The Chestnut Group completes £2.5m EIS fund-raise, plans to expand to ten sites by end of 2018
The Chestnut Group completes £2.5m EIS fund-raise, plans to expand to ten sites by end of 2018: Suffolk-based hospitality company The Chestnut Group is set to expand its East Anglian foothold after raising £2.5m under the government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme. The group, which is developing a portfolio of hospitality venues across the region – currently in Newmarket, Cambridge, Woodbridge and Bury St Edmunds – has now raised a total of £5.6m over three years. Set up in 2012 by former banker Philip Turner, the group has just added to its fast-growing portfolio of hospitality venues with the acquisition of a fifth site, The Three Blackbirds in the Suffolk market town of Newmarket. The investment raise, 50% of which was supported by the group’s existing shareholders with the remainder from new sources including three London-based wealth management firms, will support the Chestnut Group’s strategy to broaden its portfolio. The group plans to expand to ten sites in the East Anglia region by the end of 2018. Turner believes East Anglia is witnessing a changing demographic as the property market fluctuates and younger people and families migrate away from London. He said this trend is driving a growing demand for a quality range of hospitality venues within “regional” cities and towns. He said: “East Anglia is a hospitality hotspot right now. The changing population and demographic are drawing hospitality businesses out of London and we believe this particular region is ready for more quality destinations to dine and stay in. We’re extremely grateful for the continual support from our shareholder base and for helping us to push through to the next exciting phase. We’re thrilled to be taking on a new site and we have a keen interest in Newmarket and helping to further develop its potential as an attractive destination.” Turner has spearheaded growth of more than 100% year-on-year sales across The Chestnut Group since launching in 2013 with The Packhorse Inn on the edge of Newmarket. The company is projecting a group turnover of £5m by the end of 2016. He’s also brought in Three Rosette Group executive head chef Dan Grigg and introduced a number of employee and training initiatives, including the introduction of an employee equity incentive plan and The Chestnut Hospitality Academy, which includes a two-year trainee programme with the promise of full-time employment within the group on completion. The group aims to set new benchmarks in hospitality experiences and its three pillars of “fantastic food, quality service and stylish interiors” underpinning each venture.

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