Bowland Inns & Hotels, the parent company behind Bowland Brewery & the James’ Places collection of hotels, inns and restaurants is pleased to announce that it has successfully reached a lease agreement with the Trustees of the Downham Estate.

This iconic Lancashire country inn is set to re-open its doors under new ownership in February 2023.

James Warburton, the Bowland Inns & Hotels Owner and Chairman, explains:

“We are absolutely delighted to announce that we have secured the Assheton Arms and will be bringing it into our family of local hotels and inns. As a big admirer and customer of this wonderful pub, and past resident of Downham itself I know just how fond of the pub people are.”

“Thanks to the way Downham Estate manages its properties, the eighteen months closure has been kind to The Assheton Arms. We just need a few weeks to warm the building through, refresh one or two things and we will be on our way. February 2023 can’t come soon enough.”

Said the Hon Ralph Assheton:

“The business lease of the Assheton Arms came back into the ownership of Downham Estate at the beginning of this year. Since then, we have taken the opportunity to carry out a number of essential repairs to the main building and its 12 letting rooms, as well as redecorating the exterior and sprucing up the garden areas.”

“Our search to find the best way forward for the Assheton Arms as a business, a sustainable part of Downham Estate and a valued village and wider community hub has resulted in the lease being awarded to Bowland Inns & Hotels.  We couldn’t be more delighted and are confident that, with this local company’s excellent reputation and track record, the Assheton Arms will become, once again, a bit of a draw and one of the Ribble Valley’s major tourism assets.”

Bookings are now being taken from February 2023 onwards through the central reservations team: email – and telephone – 01200 407 150.

Future growth for Bowland Inns & Hotels

James’ Places operates 10 businesses across the Ribble Valley, North Yorkshire and the South Lakes and is a significant employer in the hospitality and tourism sector in the rural North West.

Beginning with three employees at The Emporium in Clitheroe in 1997 James’ Places now provides full and part time jobs to over 450 people in venues as diverse as Mitton Hall in Whalley, the Royal Hotel in Kirkby Lonsdale and Holmes Mill, the multi award-winning textile historic mill conversion in Clitheroe.

The acquisition of the lease on The Assheton Arms is the first for the business in the post-pandemic period.

James Warburton, the Bowland Inns & Hotels Owner and Chairman, said:

“The past couple of years have been unkind to many types of businesses but few more so than hospitality. It has to be said that it’s been more than a bit grim, but with the support of our fantastic employees, our great suppliers and of course our wonderfully loyal customers we are delighted to have made it through.”

“Bringing the Assheton Arms into the James’ Places family is the first step of a much-delayed expansion plan. Hopefully there are one or two others that we can announce soon. There’s no change of direction and no scaling up, just one or two pieces are falling into place. Great buildings, great locations that just need a bit of love and attention.”

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Published On: November 13th, 2022
The Assheton Arms Downham, James Places