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Sold! Deal struck for Stafford's historic Swan Hotel

By Simon Penfold | Staffordshire | Business | Published:

The historic Swan Hotel in Stafford has been sold by the Lewis family after 17 years. It has been bought this week by the Lincolnshire-based Coaching Inn Group for an undisclosed sum.

The Swan Hotel in Greengate Street, Stafford, has changed hands

Chris Lewis, managing partner of the Lewis Partnership, said his family business would now be focusing on its chain of destination restaurants.

The popular Stafford town centre venue comprises a brasserie-style restaurant, bars, coffee shop and 31 hotel bedrooms and had been part of the Staffordshire based hospitality company since 2001 when the Lewis family purchased the property from Scottish & Newcastle brewery.

The 18th Century former coaching inn, in Greengate Street, has been a part of Stafford’s history for more than 300 years. It had fallen into neglect when the Lewis family bought it and carried out a major renovation to restore the inn to its former glory.

Its new owners say the deal is a statement of confidence in both The Swan and in Stafford.

Kevin Charity, chief executive of the Coaching Inn Group, said negotiations with the Lewis Partnership had started earlier this year. "Its a great building. They have done a fabulous job over the last 17 years and it has one of the best teams of staff we have ever come across. It's been an absolutely brilliant start and we just hope we can enhance it.

"Coaching inns are what we do. Our buildings are all 300 to 400 years old and we consider ourselves their custodians. The high street and retail have been having a tough time recently, but hospitality is thriving and we are very confident of the future of The Swan and of Stafford itself – it's a great town."

Chris Lewis said: “After 17 successful years at The Swan, we have made the decision as a family to concentrate on and grow the destination dining and events element of our business.

"Although this change in focus means that our time in Stafford town centre has come to an end we would like to thank all of our customers and staff for their support over the years.”

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He added: “Coaching Inn Group have a fantastic reputation. Their impressive and ever-growing portfolio of beloved coaching inns, like The Swan leaves me with no doubts that they will make great custodians of this historic venue.”

The Swan was the second property for the hospitality group created by the Lewis family in 1988 when they converted their family manor house home at Acton Trussell into a pub and restaurant, later expanding to become a hotel and conference destination. The 600-year-old Moat House remains a the centre of the Partnership's business, which now includes The Dog & Doublet Inn in Sandon, The Red Lion in Bradley and The Bank House, Hixon.

It is the second Stafford town centre venue to be offloaded by the Lewis Partnership this year. In May the Bear Grill, also in Greengate Street, closed its doors after the Lewis Partnership pulled out of running the venue after more than 15 years.

The Bear Grill is owned by Marston's and the lease has been returned to the pub and brewing group, which is drawing up plans for a relaunch.

New Swan owners The Coaching Inn Group operates another 15 hotels across the country including The Feathers Hotel at Ledbury, the Royal Oak Hotel in Welshpool and the White Hart Royal in the Cotswolds. The company is based in Boston, Lincolnshire, where it owns the White Hart Hotel.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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