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East Anglia Future 50

Holiday cottage business doubles capacity after six-figure injection

PUBLISHED: 10:52 10 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:52 10 April 2019

suffolk glossy  - richard bryson - photograph Tudor Morgan-Owen 04/07/11

Cath and John Catchpole and Son Roger outside Stowlangtoft Hall.

Stowlangtoft Hall

suffolk glossy - richard bryson - photograph Tudor Morgan-Owen 04/07/11 Cath and John Catchpole and Son Roger outside Stowlangtoft Hall. Stowlangtoft Hall

A family-run holiday cottage firm near Bury St Edmunds has doubled its capacity to keep up with the rising demand for summer staycations.

Stowlangtoft Estate secured a six-figure funding package to build its largest holiday home ever.

Bury St Edmunds welcomes more than 800,000 trips each year – creating just under £50m for the local economy.

And Stowlangtoft Estate is keen to capitalise on the opportunities.

MORE: ‘Tourism is booming’ – hotels invest £10m in town to keep up with growing demand

The 1,000 acre estate first began welcoming holiday-makers in 2004, with the idyllic countryside surrounding providing the perfect venue for guests to relax.

In order to cater for the growing number of large groups booking staycations, the firm secured a six figure sum from Lloyds Bank to fund the renovation of Stow Manor.

Stow Manor is a 6,000sq ft property, made up of a seven-bedroom main house, a two-bed guest house and a separate games room with a bar, snooker table and other entertainment facilities.

The refurbishment included reroofing the building, replacing all the windows, electronics and heating, as well as installing nine en suite bathrooms.

The changes have doubled the estate’s capacity from 24 to 48 guests and led to the hiring of three new members of staff.

And it is expected to increase the estate’s turnover by £100,000.

“We noticed that there was growing demand for larger holiday homes, with five or more rooms,” said Roger Catchpole, one of the owners.

“These kinds of properties enable big families or friendship groups to be together in one building. We wanted to tap into this trend by creating a property to accommodate up to 24 guests.

“The bank’s support has helped our business to grow to meet demand.”

Richard Penford, agriculture relationship manager at Lloyds, said the bank is determined to help the family-business.

He added: “A recent report from Visit Britain showed that staycations rose by 7% to reach a record 20.4m from January to July in 2017, and this is only set to continue as more luxury properties like Stow Manor become available. To help businesses tap into these spikes in demand, we’ve pledged to lend £1.7bn to East of England businesses this year.”

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