James’ Places grows by a third

James’ Places grows by a third
The Royal Hotel at Kirkby Lonsdale

The Royal Hotel at Kirkby Lonsdale

Hospitality group James’ Places, which owns Settle country house hotel Falcon Manor and The Royal Hotel at Kirkby Lonsdale, has grown by a third.

The company, which owns The Emporium, Holmes Mill and Bowland Brewery in Clitheroe, plus Ribble Valley wedding venues Eaves Hall, Mitton Hall and the Shireburn Arms, pub the Waddington Arms, as well as Falcon Manor and The Royal Hotel, has seen turnover grow by 32 per cent in the last three years. In addition, it has increased its staff numbers by 37 per cent over the same period of time.

Falcon Manor

Falcon Manor

Since 2013 the group’s portfolio has expanded with the acquisition of Falcon Manor and Holmes Mill. Falcon Manor underwent a major refurbishment and the formerly derelict Holmes Mill is currently midway through a £10m redevelopment into a hospitality and leisure hub.

Said group marketing manager Heidi Kettle: “James’ Places has gone from strength to strength.

“We love what we do and we’re good at it – but we don’t rest on our laurels. This is a fast-paced, trend-led business and we recognise and thrive on that. We are dynamic. We spot opportunities and act on them. This has been our philosophy for the last 20 years and will remain our philosophy – until it needs to change!”

James’ Places began in 1997 with The Emporium in Citheroe, a former chapel which the company converted into an interiors shop with a café/brasserie. It quickly became established as the go-to venue for socialising and now, 20 years on, it remains one of the premier eateries in the vibrant town.

Taking a characterful building and turning it into something special has become a trademark of James’ Places.

Said Heidi: “We inject the love back into the buildings we acquire and to some degree the building dictates what we can do with it. James’ Places is about a family of venues where coherence matters; we don’t do formulaic, we find a place, give it a purpose and nurture it.

“Holmes Mill is being sympathetically developed with an urban, industrial chic vibe. We have upcycled many materials from the former textile mill, including floorboards turned into tables and the bar in the mill’s Beer Hall – believed to be the longest in Britain – is made out of materials salvaged from elsewhere in the building.”

Still to come at Holmes Mill is the Bowland Food Hall – a retail space dedicated to local produce – plus a 41 bedroom apart-hotel, pool, gym and spa. Already it is home to Bowland Brewery, which creates its award-winning craft ales in the purpose-built on-site brewery, the Beer Hall, café, gelateria and shop.

Said Heidi: “We expect to grow even more over the next few years, and who knows which buildings we will rescue next. Watch this space!”