Bowland Inns & Hotels – the parent company behind Bowland Brewery & the James’ Places collection of hotels, inns and restaurants – have secured planning permission for change of use to create a luxury hotel, retreat and spa, and exclusive-use weddings and events venue.
The historic grade II listed building, on the outskirts of the delightful Lune Valley village of Wennington, was acquired from Lancashire County Council as the former school closed in the Summer of 2022.
Detailed plans for the conversion from large country house, to state school, to hotel and venue are well underway and the company hopes to begin work in earnest in the coming weeks.
Wennington Hall will operate under the James’ Places brand alongside the company’s established collection of country hotels, village inns and wedding and events venues.
“Wennington Hall will be a fabulous addition to our family of remarkable buildings and businesses. There is so much potential here, not just in the Hall itself but in the extensive collection of buildings once useful to the school but now in need of fresh ideas.”
“It’s such a beautiful building in stunning gardens and grounds in an idyllic rural location, and yet it’s less than 20 minutes to Lancaster and the M6 Motorway. Crucially, it is also less than 40 minutes to Morecambe, home to the Eden Project North, the most significant tourism development for Lancashire and the wider North West region for years.”
– James W., Chairman, James’ Places.
James’ Places already operates five of the North West’s most popular and successful weddings and events venues, including the 15th Century Mitton Hall at Whalley, the Georgian country house Eaves Hall at Clitheroe and the Victorian masterpiece Falcon Manor at Settle in the Yorkshire Dales.
James’ Places also operates Holmes Mill, Clitheroe, on behalf of its parent company Bowland Inns & Hotels. The multi-award-winning restoration and rejuvenation of the historically important former cotton mill is the home Bowland Brewery and its spectacular tasting parlour Bowland Beer Hall. Holmes Mill also happens to be one of the company’s most popular wedding venues.
The conversion of Wennington Hall from school to hotel will see an additional 37 bedrooms added to the company’s bedroom stock, taking the group total to over 160 rooms.
Bringing the currently redundant building back to life will see the creation of up to 60 full and part-time jobs upon completion.
The acquisition and redevelopment of Wennington Hall is a significant step for Bowland Inns & Hotels as it continues to expand and strengthen its position as the leader in the weddings and events sector.
“We have been fortunate to be the owners of the Royal Hotel in Kirkby Lonsdale for a number of years now, and we’ve been on the lookout for a wedding and events business to sit alongside for almost as long as we’ve owned it.
“Lancaster, the Lune Valley and the South Lakes are an incredibly attractive proposition to us as a business because they are an incredibly attractive proposition for the customer too. We are certainly on the look out for more opportunities in this area.”
– Warren B., Commercial Director James’ Places.
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