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Tue 3rd Mar 2020 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Out-of-town retail park landlords set for rents rethink with 30% of leases about to expire above average market rate: Landlords look set to rethink rent levels at out-of-town retail parks with 30% of leases coming up for renewal fetching above the average market rate, according to new research. The out-of-town shopping market began to saturate between 2005 and 2015, with those agreed peak rents now coming to expiry and accounting for 50% of the current market, figures from Radius Data Exchange reveal. James Child, head of retail and industrial research, said: “The outcome of this is large swathes of out-of-town stock will be vacated or revalued. While it’s unlikely more occupiers will seek to evict themselves than remain, what we should expect instead is the sector to begin to revalue itself at the will of tenants. We know this from additional analysis into the current costs of renting, which show many occupiers are paying over the market rent. With bricks and mortar occupiers under such pressure against online retail spend – peaking at 21.5% of all retail sales in November 2018 – long-term commitments are becoming more scarce with average lease lengths decreasing during the past 30 years, from 26 years in 1990 to 11 years in 2018. Many landlords are now looking to offload schemes instead of acquiring them. The raft of company voluntary arrangements and administrations that have hit retail could continue to hammer vacancy rates. Looking at units that have become vacant since the start of last year, one in five is in an out-of-town scheme. The vast swathes of stock coming up for expiry or review means the power lies with the occupiers. Owing to the laws of supply and demand, it is fully expected rents will begin to fall in the short term. Despite this it hasn’t stopped hungry developers lodging plans for new out-of-town developments. Our data shows applications for new retail parks have doubled over the second half of the past ten years. With an already bloated retail footprint against the backdrop of increasing vacancy and a changing shopping landscape, out-of-town landlords may face a backlash from occupiers maximising their value in tricky trading conditions.”

Industry News:

Experiential Leisure Conference returns with all-new content, open for bookings: The Experiential Leisure Conference is returning – bigger and better – providing new insights and expertise on a trend that continues to have a seismic influence on the sector. Propel has partnered with Think Hospitality for the event, which takes place on Tuesday, 28 April at One Moorgate Place in London and is open for bookings. Following the inaugural half-day event in 2018, this year’s conference will span a full day and feature all-new content. UK and international companies will share insights into their strategies while industry experts will look at some of the key trends shaping the sector. Think Hospitality chief executive James Hacon will take inspiration from around the world to provide an update on the experiential leisure sector. Puttshack chief operating officer Roberto Moretti will share his leadership journey from traditional hospitality formats to experiential, discussing the nuances of the format. Heleri Rande, partner at Think Hospitality, will talk to Rachel Scott, head of leasing at Peel Outlets, about how it is increasingly turning to experiential leisure when developing its lifestyle outlets to create differentiation, talk-ability and drive footfall. Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling, founders of Inception Group, which owns and operates concepts including Cahoots and Mr Foggs, will reveal how they centre concepts around a strong story and leverage experiences as part of their proposition. Seb Lyall, founder of Lollipop, will talk about his journey developing some of the most talked about immersive experiences in the world including ABQ, The Bletchley and Bunyadi. Bread Ahead founder Matt Jones will reveal the recipe behind the successful format of retail, education and hospitality that has put Bread Ahead on the map. Boxpark head of operations Ben McLaughlin will talk about its success in driving footfall and brand buzz by hosting experiential events around live television and sporting events, including a partnership with ITV for Love Island. Red Engine marketing director Juliette Keyte will present the growth journey and brand positioning of Flight Club and Electric Shuffle, giving her top tips of launching locations on a high. The day will also feature insights from two international speakers. Adele Chen, head of the overseas business division at Shanghai Wanyoo Information Technology Co, will talk about the rise of e-sports and the global expansion of its Wanyoo E-sports Studio. Los Angeles-based writer Chris Nichols, author of Walt Disney’s Disneyland, will share what he has learned after studying the history behind the creation of Disneyland for more than four years. He will reveal how Walt Disney hand-picked a team of visionaries, the idea and inspirations that drove the development, and how it has evolved during the past six decades. Tickets are £295 for Propel Premium members, £345 for non-Propel Premium operators and £395 for non-Propel Premium suppliers. To book, email

Rum sales jump 7% to spice up spirits and cocktails market: Rum sales growth is outpacing many other popular spirits, putting it in prime position to follow the remarkable surge in consumer interest in gin, according to new research. Data from CGA’s on-premise measurement tool showed rum sales rose 7.0% year-on-year in 2019, putting it well ahead of other mainstream spirits including brandy (up 3.1%), whiskey (up 0.9%) and vodka (down 0.4%). CGA’s BrandTrack survey suggested just over five million consumers now drink rum out-of-home – a figure that has jumped 10.0% year-on-year. It said the upward trend was being driven by the popularity of rum drunk in cocktails or with mixers, and by flavoured and spiced rums rather than dark, white or golden varieties. Rum contributed to a spike in sales across the spirits category in 2019, with total value up by 6.2%, compared with a 0.6% drop for wine. Growth in spirits has been powered by gin, which has seen its on-trade sales more than triple in the past five years – but CGA said rum could now be positioned to follow its upward trajectory. Rum drinkers have an average of 4.6 brands in their repertoire – but since only 1.7 of these are premium brands CGA said there was scope to increase consumers’ awareness of niche and craft rum varieties. Price influences two-in-five (40%) rum drinkers, making it the leading factor in choice ahead of the availability of a favourite brand (34%) and visibility on the bar (29%). With four-in-five rum drinkers choosing to have it mixed with cola (51%) or diet cola (32%), CGA also said there was relatively little awareness of the potential to drink it neat, or paired with juice, ginger ale or other alternatives. Phillip Montgomery, client director at CGA, said: “Sales have got a long way to go to match the stellar performance of gin, but its variety and versatility makes rum a major growth opportunity for operators and suppliers in 2020 and beyond.”

Northern Ireland pubs feel ‘pain’ of coronavirus crisis: Pubs in Northern Ireland have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds while feeling the “pain” of the coronavirus crisis, according to Hospitality Ulster chief executive Colin Neill. He described the cancellation of Ireland’s home Six Nations rugby game versus Italy as a “blow to pubs”. He told the BBC: “If we lose more of those, that’s a financial hit right across the industry.” Neill spoke out after Tourism Ireland boss Niall Gibbons said he had “serious concerns” over the potential effects of coronavirus on the tourism industry. He said: “The coronavirus story has moved from its first chapter, which happened in China, into its second chapter – and our concern has moved from very serious to extremely serious.”

MUP comes into force in Wales: A law introducing minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in Wales has come into force. Retailers and any outlets serving alcohol must charge at least 50p a unit, meaning a typical bottle of wine costs no less than £4.69. Health minister Vaughan Gething told the BBC the move would tackle “harmful and damaging” drinking of cheap, strong alcohol. A report found alcohol sales in Scotland dropped after a similar system started there in May 2018, while sales rose slightly in Wales and England. The Welsh government said most people wouldn’t notice a change in the price of most alcoholic drinks but “high-strength, low-cost” products such as white cider would be significantly more expensive. Gething said there had been “lots of debate” when the change was announced, with some “deeply sceptical and unhappy” about price rises. However, he added the evidence of health benefits were “so clear”. Gething said he looked forward to the debate continuing, with the Welsh Assembly looking at the law again in five years informed by the evidence. The Home Office said there were currently no plans to introduce MUP in England.

European hotel deals hit record high in 2019, UK tops list: European hotel transactions hit a record high last year with deals worth €27.1bn (£23.5bn), according to the annual European Hotel Transactions report by global consultancy HVS. The largest amount of capital was poured into the UK, which saw almost one-quarter (23%) of total volumes, worth €5.3bn. Germany was second (18%; €4bn). London remained the leading European city for hotel deals, with a total volume of about €2.2bn in 2019, ahead of Amsterdam (€1.1bn). In total, 844 hotels and 132,000 rooms changed hands in 2019 – 318 hotels were single-asset transactions, up 26% year-on-year, while 526 were sold as part of portfolio deals, up 67%. Shaffer Patrick, analyst at HVS brokerage and investment services division Hodges Ward Elliott and the report’s co-author, said: “Record low interest rates among various European countries and continuing yield compression in key markets have helped to drive large investment volumes compared with previous years. Asian investors have deployed 84% more capital in 2019 than in 2018, with a dominating presence from Chinese, Singaporean and South Korean investment firms and sovereign wealth funds. These factors, combined with the comparative affordability due to a weakening of the euro and sterling on account of Brexit, have made Europe an even more sought-after hotel investment market.” However, co-author Nicolas Auer warned: “New supply and the UK’s divorce from the European Union will influence transaction volume this year.”

Company News:

Byron to further evolve look and offer at Oxford site: Better burger brand Byron, which is backed by Three Hills Capital, is to further evolve its look and offer at its Oxford site. The Simon Wilkinson-led business unveiled its new look featuring a reimagined design and menu and first brunch offer at its High Street Kensington site in November. Wilkinson told Propel while some of the initiatives had worked, others would need to evolve. He said: “Internally, I would say it has been a seven out of ten. The design direction was decided before I joined and it’s always hard to visualise from a piece of paper. My view and that of my team is it was an improvement but lost some of the personality and warmth of the brand. It was a bit too clinical, a bit too minimalist. We have had a debate about it with the owner and we’re changing the design for the next one – Oxford, which closed last week. It will reopen later this month. The Kensington site was always a trial and there are elements that work, such as our whole strategy around proper food and eating around a table. The mixture of seating works but that overall feel isn’t what Byron needs to be.” Wilkinson said in terms of changes to the food, feedback from consumers had been positive. He said: “We have changed a lot including the bun and fries and introduced a vegan patty. The first big menu overhaul from Sophie (Michell, food and drink director) will launch this month. We also have flat iron steak going on the menu, served medium rare. Some aspects of the brunch menu have worked, some haven’t, so again we will tweak the offer around April or May. We originally had that available Thursday to Sunday, as we do most of the business at the weekend, but people want it for longer so where we do brunch we will introduce an all-day menu, which will have brunch and burger elements. We will do it in about ten sites so, rather than overcomplicate it, we’ll have one menu in those.” The group’s new coffee offer with Paddy & Scott’s is rolling out, while Byron is also in the process of changing its beer contract. Wilkinson said: “We have been with Camden Town from day one but we’re switching to Brooklyn Beer as our main supplier. It allows us to have draught lager in every site without the need for cellars.” In terms of the group’s estate, Wilkinson said there might be a few more disposals but the group had also looked at acquisitions, including some former Handmade Burger Co sites. He said: “We have got heads of terms on a couple of these and will take them to the board in due course. You have to take each site on its merit.” In November, Wilkinson spoke about developing two new concepts alongside Byron, a premium offer and a food-to-go format, but he said these remained on the back burner as getting Byron right was “imperative”.

Coaching Inn Group appoints non-executive chairman as Andrew Guy steps down: The Coaching Inn Group, which operates 17 sites, has appointed Denis Wormwell as non-executive chairman. He replaces former Ed’s Easy Diner chief executive Andrew Guy, who has stepped down from The Coaching Inn Group board after five years. Wormwell is currently chairman of the VisitEngland advisory board and chairman of CMAC Group, the travel and accommodation solutions provider. Previously he was chief executive of Shearings Group, a private equity-backed tour operator and hotel business, and has held various leadership and director roles at National Express Group, Thomas Cook and Flying Colours Leisure Group. The Coaching Inn Group is backed by BGF, which has invested £15m since March 2015 to support the group’s expansion. Guy, who has been chairman since BGF’s initial investment, has stepped down as he looks to focus on his two other non-executive positions at BGF-backed Crepeaffaire and kitchen extraction business Reco-Air. Wormwell said: “The Coaching Inn Group has carved a fantastic reputation in the market over the past few years, achieving impressive scale through a carefully selected portfolio of venues and a growing customer base. I’m delighted to join the business as chairman at such an exciting time as it looks to drive scale even further as part of its £50m expansion plan.” Chief executive Kevin Charity added: “We are really pleased Denis has joined The Coaching Inn Group to support our exciting strategy. His understanding of the accommodation sector brings a new dynamic to our business and his marketing skills to maximise on this are greatly welcomed. We look forward to working with him over the coming months during our next phase of expansion. I would like to thank Andrew for all the service, advice and guidance he has given us over the past five years. His insight into improving our operations, especially regarding food and beverage, has been invaluable and we wish him all the best for the future.”

Incipio Group appoints Anthony Knight as sales and marketing director: Incipio Group, which is backed by Edition Capital, has appointed Anthony Knight as sales and marketing director. Knight joins seven-strong Incipio Group from Elliotts, the integrated agency for the hospitality and leisure sector, where he was managing director. Knight joined Elliotts in September 2018 from Maxwell’s Restaurants Group, where he was group sales and marketing director responsible for venues such as Café de Paris, Tropicana Beach Club and Maxwell’s Bar and Grill. During that period Knight was named Future Marketing Leader at the Restaurant Marketer & Innovator Awards (RM&I). At Maxwell’s he also championed loyalty initiatives and new approaches to customer engagement and experience, generating global coverage for the company’s response to the Pokémon Go phenomenon and the launch of Tropicana Beach Club, which won Maxwell’s a “best use of social media” award at RM&I. Knight tweeted: “Really excited to be joining the incredible Incipio Group as sales and marketing director.” Last year Incipio received £5m from Edition Capital to open six venues in 18 months. Incipio’s estate consists of London venues Lost, Pergola On The Roof, Pergola Olympia, Pergola Paddington, The Prince, Feast and W12 Studios. In the next 18 months the group will launch sites in Putney, Wimbledon and its first site outside London, in Birmingham. 

Bewiched Coffee secures debut drive-thru, plans further expansion: Northampton-based cafe operator Bewiched Coffee has secured its debut drive-thru, Propel has learned. Founder Matt Fountain has agreed a deal with Midlands-based developer Decorum Estates that will see the drive-thru built at Moulton Park, an industrial estate to the north of Northampton. Planning permission is being sought with the drive-thru, which will incorporate a 40-seat cafe, expected to open in the early part of next year. Fountain told Propel: “There’s a lot of potential with that site and a lot of residential development happening in that neck of the woods – so hopefully we can trade well at weekends as well as weekdays. The food will be made fresh on-site. Because of where it’s situated, we’ll make sure we have good Wi-Fi and plenty of sockets and charging points so people can hold meetings. We’d like to open further drive-thrus but want to make sure we nail this one first.” Fountain revealed he is set to further expand the 11-strong group having reached agreement on sites in Milton Keynes and Rugby. He plans to open sites with space to prepare the food to push home the fresh food message rather than relying on the central kitchen that currently serves the estate. Fountain is also looking at the possibility of a franchise agreement but said it was key to maintain the brand’s DNA.

Really Local Group to turn empty Bermondsey store into food hall and cinema: Cultural infrastructure developer Really Local Group (RLG) is set to create an all-day community space in Bermondsey, south east London. The team that opened Catford Mews culture centre in Lewisham in September plans to launch The Blue at the empty Thorowgoods furniture store in Market Place in summer 2021 in partnership with Southwark Council. RLG will transform the space into a coffee shop, cafe, bar, three-screen cinema, co-working space and a food and craft hall featuring local traders. The venue will also encourage community ownership through a membership programme, with the project using grants from the mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund. RLG founder Preston Benson said: “Working with Southwark Council we hope to be able to curate a new ‘cultural quarter’ for the town and secure collaboration opportunities with local independent businesses, artisans and traders.” RLG is set to open two venues this year, including turning 14,000 square feet in Reading’s Broad Street Mall into an independent cinema, music and events centre. RLG signed a deal with mall owner Moorgarth ahead of the development’s opening in the summer. RLG has also acquired the former Pressing Plant unit at The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes, west London, from U+I. The site will provide a cinema, live music venue, community spaces, cafe and bar. Catford Mews features a three-screen cinema, live entertainment space, pop-up food market and bar.

Le Cordon Bleu to launch its first multi-site concept in London: Le Cordon Bleu, the global network of culinary arts and hospitality management institutes, is to launch its first multi-site concept in London this spring. Cord by Le Cordon Bleu will offer a fine dining restaurant, cafe and cookery school under one roof. The 90-cover restaurant will open for lunch and dinner, Monday to Friday, and feature tasting menus alongside daily a la carte and a weekly changing set lunch menu. Dishes will include smoked rainbow trout with fennel, pomegranate, apple and yuzu; and lamb from the Pyrenees with polenta, sea herbs and broad beans. Diners will be able to opt for wine or alcohol-free tea pairings with their meal. The 50-capacity Cord Café will be hireable and offer patisserie and viennoiserie from its on-site bakery alongside gourmet sandwiches, salad, homemade soup and bread. Meanwhile, Le Cordon Bleu Institute will host courses in worldwide cuisine, food and wine pairing, and patisserie. Classes will cater for 14 people or the institute will be available to hire for 30-capacity workshops and meetings. Chief executive and president André Cointreau said: “This year is a milestone for Le Cordon Bleu as we celebrate 125 years of excellence in teaching around the world. Now, more than ever, there’s a call for consistency and quality, which is what we aim to deliver at Cord.” Le Cordon Bleu operates more than 35 schools in 20-plus countries. Its flagship London site is in Bloomsbury Square.

McDonald’s to replace plastic cutlery in Australia: McDonald’s restaurants in Australia are to replace plastic cutlery with wooden equivalents. Plastic cutlery will be phased out at its 900-plus Australian sites by the end of this year, the company said at a plastics summit in Canberra. The move follows McDonald’s decision in 2018 to swap plastic straws globally for sustainable options. It’s not yet known whether McDonald’s plans to roll out the wooden cutlery to its 37,855 restaurants worldwide, reports the Evening Standard. McDonald’s Australia supply chain and sustainability director Kylie Freeland said: “By removing plastic straws and cutlery from McDonald’s restaurants we’re continuing to reduce our environmental footprint and will remove more than 860 tonnes of plastic from our system.” McDonald’s conducted a three-month trial of wooden cutlery in nine outlets in New Zealand late last year.

Black and White Hospitality to launch new concept as one of two Marco Pierre White brands opening in Chester: Black and White Hospitality, which owns the rights to restaurant brands belonging to Marco Pierre White, is to launch a new concept as one of two venues it will open in Chester. The concept, Mr White’s Ale & Steakhouse, will launch alongside a venue for the Mr White’s English Chophouse brand at the Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen following a deal between Black and White Hospitality and LGH Hotels Management, which owns and manages the property. Black and White Hospitality chairman and chief executive Nick Taplin said: “Ale & Steakhouse will be a melting pot of all things Marco and British with a traditional, homely feel. Serving simple, classic food, the menu will include some of Marco’s favourite pub grub such as pea and ham soup, steak and ale pie, and fish and chips. The pub will also serve local and regional ale as well as Marco Pierre White’s Governor bitter and lager. The hotel has a fascinating history. It was the country’s first grand railway hotel and was once considered the world’s first skyscraper!” Last month Black and White Hospitality started operating the first aparthotel in its rapidly expanding hotel portfolio – Hy Hotel in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. Last year Black and White Hospitality Management signed up London hotels The Lansbury Heritage, near Canary Wharf, and The Westbridge in Stratford. It also manages The Cube in Birmingham and Cadbury House in Congresbury, Somerset.

Halifax-based Thai restaurant acquires third site: Halifax-based Thai restaurant Thai Corner has added a third site in the West Yorkshire town to its portfolio. Owner Ratchanee Peacock has acquired the lease of the former Ricci’s Tapas & Cicchetti premises in Dean Clough Mill in a deal brokered by Christie & Co. It adds to Thai Corner's other sites in Halifax Market and Cow Green. Previous owner Michael Ricci had owned and operated the premises since 2012 on a ten-year term. He is now focusing his efforts on Ricci’s Place in Halifax, and other restaurant ventures overseas.

Belushi’s launches customer loyalty app: Belushi’s, the pan-European bar chain owned by Beds and Bars, has launched an app for UK customers. The Belushi’s Backstage Pass has been developed by Loke and allows users to make purchases at the bar and earn points for every £1 they spend to unlock offers. The app, which features a tiered loyalty scheme, also allows users to split the bill, add a tip, and claim student discounts and rewards. Beds and Bars marketing director Sophie Herbert said: “The phase one launch offers pay at the bar, delivers our new loyalty scheme, enhanced customer communications and tailored introductory offers. Phase two will launch ahead of Euro 2020 and see order and pay at table launched into venues. We are still only scratching the surface with the final product and have plans to integrate with some of our third parties to continually build out the application to include book a table, click and collect/delivery and other exciting innovations.” The app is also available to Beds and Bars employees, who can claim their company discount by scanning a QR code.

SushiDog to open second site, in Covent Garden this month: SushiDog, which launched at Westfield Shopping Centre in 2018, is to start expansion this month by opening a second London site, in Covent Garden. The 300 square foot venue will open on the corner of Tower Street and Earlham Street in Seven Dials on Saturday, 14 March. SushiDog founders Greg Ilsen and Nick Goldstein said: “We are excited to open our second location, in Seven Dials. We’re also launching new menu items including house-made sauces and toppings and a new vegan roll and bowl choice. The concept offers build your own poke bowls, salad bowls and sushi burritos, which are the signature ‘sushidogs’. People love being part of the ordering process and seeing it rolled up in front of them and enjoy being able to eat it on the go.” Danielle Leslie, of Restaurant Property, acted for YOLO, the former dessert-only bar and seller of the site.

The Alchemist to open Cheltenham site next month: The Alchemist, the 18-strong Simon Potts-led bar and restaurant concept, will open a site in Cheltenham next month. The company is launching the 4,539 square foot venue in the town’s Brewery Quarter on Friday, 10 April. The Alchemist will be giving a sneak preview of its offer with a pop-up bar at The Brewery Quarter on Thursday, 12 March to coincide with The Cheltenham Races. The group is set to strengthen its presence in the south west further with an opening in Bristol's Corn Street. Later this month the company will also add to its London portfolio by opening its fifth site in the capital, at the new Embassy Gardens development in Nine Elms – its first venue south of the Thames.

Wulf & Lamb doubles up with Marylebone opening: Fast casual vegan concept Wulf & Lamb has opened its second site in London, in Marylebone. As revealed by Propel in January the business, which is the brainchild of Rosanna Von Zweigbergk and Philip Ryan, has taken a 2,560 square foot unit in Chiltern Street on a 15-year lease. The company, which includes former Jamie Oliver Group managing director Simon Cochrane as part of its management team, opened its debut site, in Pavilion Road, Chelsea, in October 2017. The concept’s menu is overseen by former Vanilla Black head chef Franco Casolin and comprises breakfast, lunch and dinner to eat in or take away. Knight Frank acted for the landlord Ronson Capital, while Raven Rose, the new property advisory firm from Josh Rose and James Raven, acted on behalf of Wulf & Lamb.

CPL rebrands following divisions merger: CPL Training, which delivers hospitality-based training and development, has been rebranded as CPL Learning following the merger of the company’s online and training divisions. The move follows CGA’s acquisition of CPL Training in June last year, while it bought CPL Online in March 2018. CGA said the rebrand and name change to CPL Learning would allow the company to “crystallise its offering, approach and direction”. CPL Learning chief operating officer Jamie Campbell said: “Having been through a period of change following the acquisition by CGA, we recognised we needed to blend our proposition to unlock our potential. When we began to look at the opportunities collectively and explore how we would support our partners, it became evident we needed an identity that encapsulated and communicated our vision.”

Malhotra Group signs hotel partnership with Newcastle Racecourse: Newcastle-based operator Malhotra Group has agreed a deal to be Newcastle Racecourse’s official hotel partner for 2020. The announcement comes as work on Malhotra Group’s flagship £6.2m Three Mile Inn development, less than half a mile from the racecourse, at Gosforth, enters the final phase. Due to open in the spring, the site will be called Three Mile and will incorporate the 64-bedroom Great North Hotel and the Pizza Dough Co restaurant. The group is now compiling a selection of “race and stay” packages for guests. Malhotra Group business development manager Fabian Pritchard said: “We believe when businesses and individuals join forces great things can happen – and we are confident this new partnership with the racecourse will be proof of that.”

Monte buys operating business of Lancashire hotel: Monte Hotels, the group led by Euro Garages owners Mohsin and Zuber Issa, has bought the operating business of a Lancashire venue. Stanley House is set in 54 acres of Ribble Valley countryside and comprises 30 bedrooms. Monte Hotels has vowed to make a “significant investment” in the estate. The company had previously acquired the site’s land and property assets from Leehand Leisure. The current Stanley House directors will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations until 1 October, when Monte Hotels will take full operational control. Mohsin and Zuber Issa told Insider Media: “Stanley House is a premier destination for those visiting the area and locals accessing the world-class facilities. This is testament to the outstanding team and services developed over the years.” Simon Glassbrook, a director of Leehand Leisure, said: “It has been a wonderful journey and we’ve helped create thousands of unforgettable memories for our guests. It’s the start of an exciting new era.”

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