Suffolk farming family's delight at successful sale of care home business
PUBLISHED: 12:21 03 January 2019
Christie and Co
A Suffolk farming family is celebrating the sale of its residential care home diversification to an established operator.
The Barker family took over 21-bed Westhorpe Hall, near Stowmarket, six years ago, and built the business up.
But with the expansion of the family farming business, EJ Barker & Sons at Lodge Farm, they decided to look for a buyer. Three Arches Care Limited, trading as Westhorpe Hall Rest Home, was snapped up for an undisclosed sum by family-run business Cephas Care/Alpha Holdings Ltd.
Patrick Barker said they were “delighted” to have passed the care home business over to a firm committed to quality service.
In 2012 they picked up the pieces from a previous tenant and decided to start a company to run Westhorpe Hall themselves, he said. “We have returned it to being a friendly and caring place to live and work and reinvested heavily back into the fabric of the building. We have won a number of care awards and demonstrated that a small independent care home can deliver the highest quality care and compete in a world dominated by much larger companies.”
The care home occupies the original site of Westhorpe Hall, home of Henry VIII’s younger sister Mary, Queen of France, and husband, Charles Brandon. The only remaining feature of the original building, torn down in the 1760s, is a three-arched bridge crossing the moat, which surrounds the house and garden.
The Barker Family acquired Lodge Farm in 1957 and bought Hall Farm in 1960, including Westhorpe Hall, a Grade II listed Georgian building, which was a public house, a hotel, a family home, and most recently a care home.
Cephas managing director David Finch said: “The purchase of Three Arches Care Ltd represents another step forward in our drive to increase our position within the care market. The home has a lot of character and charm and we felt it was a perfect fit for our growing portfolio.”
Robert Mellamphy, director at agents Christie & Co, said: “The marketing commenced in early September and we quickly identified an operator who was a good fit for our clients, who were looking for a quality operator to take a lease and be their long term tenant. The sale, on a company share basis, was concluded within three months.”