Family-owned Blunsdon House Hotel near Swindon has secured a £500,000 finance package from HSBC to support renovation of its main restaurant and upgrade other areas of the property.
The hotel, which dates back to the 1950s and was Wiltshire’s first to gain four stars, is launching the new restaurant – to be called Flame – in September, replacing Christopher’s Carvery, which will close next month.
A new kitchen will also be installed and while the front of house areas of the hotel will be redecorated and get new furniture. Other areas to be upgraded include the tennis court, bar area, outside dining area and the swimming pool boiler.
Flame will offer a modern menu based on a charcoal grill style of cooking, although it will continue to offer a carvery service during the day.
HSBC’s Wiltshire Commercial Centre provided the finance package in a deal managed by senior commercial Manager Kevin Willcox. The finance was allocated from HSBC’s £600m fund for South West SMEs, £100m of it earmarked for Wiltshire businesses.
Blunsdon House Hotel, pictured below, part of the Best Western network, is a third-generation family business. It was founded by Peter and Zan Clifford in 1957 after the landlord of the local Mason’s Arms pub asked whether they could house guests of the Bath and West Show in their farmhouse.
The couple agreed and it set them on their path to developing what is now a 108-bedroom hotel with two restaurants, three bars, 11 meeting rooms, a health and leisure centre, conference centre, an indoor pool, tennis courts and a nine-hole golf course. The hotel has been a mainstay of the Swindon business scene for decades, hosting high-profile conferences, meetings and official events.
The hotel is now run by their son and managing director John Clifford along with his wife Carrie and sons Ben and Christopher, who are all company directors.
John Clifford said: “We have started to see certain markets pick up following the recession and we want to invest to ensure our facilities stay modern and meet customer demand. “Christopher’s was built in 2000 and was looking a bit tired, so we think now is the right time to make this major investment, which will widen its appeal. HSBC has been a long-term supporter of our business, so I am pleased we have secured this latest finance package from the bank.”
HSBC Wiltshire area commercial director Paul Maddison added: “Blunsdon House Hotel is a fantastic hotel in a great location. But as with all areas of the hospitality industry, it is important to stay relevant to your customer base. We are seeing many of our customers investing now to capitalise on the growth of the economy because failure to do so could result in being left behind.”