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Hospitality group agrees deal to reopen The Woburn Hotel

THE Woburn Hotel, which closed last year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, is to reopen under new operators.

The Oakman Group, which owns several pubs locally including the Betsy Wynne at Swanbourne near Buckingham, the Navigation Inn at Cosgrove, The Cherry Tree in Olney and The White Hart in Ampthill, has signed a 25-year lease to run the hotel.

The Woburn Hotel, which sits at the gateway to Woburn Abbey, is a 18th-century property with 48 luxury bedrooms and seven individual cottages , as well as three conference and events spaces, a restaurant and a bar.

It closed last year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic but Oakman is planning to reopen on May 17, the day when indoor dining is permitted to resume under the government’s proposed hospitality roadmap. 

Oakman Group chairman Peter Borg-Neal left and chief executive Dermot King

Oakman has already started the process of recruiting and is looking to create some 60 new jobs.

Oakman Group chief executive Dermot King said: “This represents another major step in delivering our vision for the business. The Woburn Hotel represents a significant addition to our existing portfolio which contains many historical coaching inns and remarkable buildings. 

“The Woburn Hotel’s history and strategic position in Bedfordshire make it a superb venue for both the leisure and business traveller.”

The Woburn Hotel becomes the 34th and largest property in the Oakman Group portfolio, giving the business a total 225 bedrooms across the 13 venues which have accommodation. It is looking to grow further, said Mr King.

His Grace the Duke of Bedford said: “The Oakman Group has a proven track record over many years as high-quality operators. They also have a reputation as a business that builds relationships with local communities.

“I am confident Oakman will safeguard our historic values while delivering a contemporary and hospitable offering of which we can all be proud.”

Oakman Group chairman Peter Borg-Neal, who used to live on the Woburn estate,  said: “Unsurprisingly, there was considerable interest in this wonderful property and we are delighted and honoured that His Grace has put his trust in us.

“At Oakman we work with a number of estates and we have always built strong and mutually beneficial relationships with them.”


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