Watch: Hotelier who’s selling up praises boost to tourism from ‘investment’ in UK Gov PR video
A hotelier who is selling his business has praised the boost to tourism from the so called ‘levelling up’ fund in a UK Government PR video.
Surrey-born businessman Seamus O’Keeffe, who owns the historic Chainbridge Hotel, in Llangollen, claimed the “investment” in the area was “reassuring” because “we can tailor our business towards that”.
The hotel, which was built in 1827 and became a popular venue due to its location adjacent to the iconic chain bridge over the River Dee, is now on the market for £1.8m with Manchester-based specialist agents Fleurets, according to the property website Rightmove.
The #LevellingUp White paper was published today.
The Dee Valley area, including the @Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal, has secured £13.3m in Levelling funding to improve facilities. 🏴📈@Simonhartmp @wrexhamcbc
Read the full publication here 👉https://t.co/Z3BL3xnKrk pic.twitter.com/riTWq70xGf
— UK Government in Wales (@UKGovWales) February 2, 2022
Seamus O’Keeffe said: “The tourism market is massive for hotels and hospitality businesses in North Wales. People come here for the burgeoning outdoor pursuits market, People return because they’ve enjoyed the countryside.
“In terms of importance to jobs, we have a core staff who operate with us 12 months of the year, and then we bolster that staff with part-time people. All that is done to cater for the extra demand that’s created by tourists.”
He added: “The plans for new cycling routes and walking routes as part of this investment in the area I think will be critical really.
“The investment being made is really reassuring. If we know investment’s being made, we can tailor our business towards that and work out what plans we can put in place that will help us to grow and obviously also to benefit the community as well as the businesses and the visitor.”
The Westminster-appointed Welsh Secretary, Simon Hart said: “We’ve just announced some pretty significant funding through the levelling up fund which is going to bring not only the aqueduct but the whole area back to life as a global tourist destination.”
He added: “For local people they’ll see a significant amount of money. Many millions of pounds on this and if it’s successful for the investors, successful for the operators here, hopefully it’ll be successful for the rest of the community, and create lasting jobs.”
On his decision to sell up, O’Keeffe told the Daily Post: “We’re under no pressure to move on, and whenever we do it will be with a heavy heart.
“It’s a magical place but we think it’s the right time to give somebody else a crack of the whip.
“It’s an absolutely fantastic business, obviously an incredible, unique location, and we’ve had a lot of fun and success building up the hotel over the 10 years we’ve been here.
“We have some other interests we want to try and pursue so it seems the right time for a change.”
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