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15 April 2020 | Hotel Mortgages

Experienced hoteliers refinance to raise capital for the refurbishment of their family business

Specialist broker, Christie Finance, has obtained funding for Mr and Mrs Gill to refinance their hotel, The Chesterton Hotel in Bicester, supporting plans to refurbish and develop the business.



Mr and Mrs Gill purchased Bignell Park Hotel, now The Chesterton Hotel in 2018, through our sister company Christie & Co. The hotel is located just outside Bicester, in Oxfordshire, aptly located between London and Birmingham. The town attracts a high level of tourists annually with its main attraction, Bicester Designer Shopping Village. The property hosts 18 en-suite letting bedrooms, bar lounge, restaurant and a meeting room, with opportunity to develop and expand on all amenities.
 
Since the purchase of the hotel, Mr and Mrs Gill have employed the help of their son Kaven to manage the family business and have made vast improvements to the property, including new furniture, bedroom changes and a refurbishment of the bar and restaurant area; all of which have improved financial performance at the hotel since 2018. Although, they feel that further development is required as the limited offering and service that the hotel has historically provided, needs overhauling to enable the hotel to reach its optimal trading level. The couple had a plan in place for the finance to be obtained through their current lender, however, they had struggled to secure anything as the business had endured a period of loss making under the previous ownership, for various reasons. Returning to Christie Finance, the Gill’s devised a solid business plan with projections and robust assumptions, enabling the right lender to agree to take on this deal, providing a facility that suits our client’s current and future requirements.
 
Kaven, the couple’s son, who is General Manager at The Chesterton Hotel, is highly experienced in the hospitality sector having worked in a variety of bars, restaurants and hotels. He has played a pivotal role the refurbishment process as well as the strategic marketing and vision for the hotel. Kaven’s experience is paramount to the development of The Chesterton and its longevity in the market.
 
Discussing the purchase, Kaven comments “As a small business with large ambitious plans, initial working capital and a healthy fund from which to invest are absolutely vital to unlocking the potential in our new business. After several frustrating experiences trying to secure the funding, we decided a new approach was necessary, having already built a relationship with Christie Finance previously; the decision was made to ask them to support in securing the finance we needed.

We were struck immediately with the speed and diligent effort Christie Finance immediately put in, understanding our needs and the critical nature time would play in this deal, Stuart highlighted options and quickly worked with us to narrow our decision to the very best lender, playing an invaluable role in assisting us with our application. With Christie Finance’s help, we are now in an excellent position, with a fantastic business, brimming with potential and the ability to capitalise on that potential.”
 
Stuart Pawelczyk, Director at Christie Finance, who brokered the deal comments, “After being let down by their existing ‘high street’ bank time and time again, we are delighted that we’ve been able to support the Gill family in securing the funding they required to expand, redevelop and improve the stunning Chesterton Hotel near Bicester. The business will undoubtedly be a huge success going forward. By working as a team with the Gill family, we were able to present a comprehensive application to a wide range of lenders to obtain a choice of lending options, resulting in great terms from a supportive lender who they can continue to grow the business with.”