When Peter Jaques and Amanda Walker decided to leave busy London life to open a guesthouse near Kirkby Stephen, it required a huge leap of faith. With support from The Cumberland, they were able to launch their stunning, tranquil retreat – supporting the local economy in the process.
Peter and Amanda decided to purchase Brownber Hall and their first hurdle was securing a mortgage. After being turned away by a highstreet bank, concerned about the nature of the property, they came to The Cumberland – and after meeting them to discuss their business plan, we were happy to offer our support.
“With the Cumberland, you are working with a person rather than just ringing up a call centre and being lost as a number. Our meeting was over coffee, it was pleasant, it was a chat and it was practical because we were able to get a lot done. It was much more of a human experience rather than a big machine.”
After securing the property, Peter and Amanda were excited to put their unique stamp on the project, collaborating with a local craftsmen to create unique pieces that would complement the 1860s building’s character. The guesthouse, which overlooks Howgill Fells, is now well-loved by walkers, Lake District and Yorkshire Dales tourists and people in search of a ‘staycation’.
“A lot of people stumble across this area by chance, but when they discover it they love to come back. One of our favourite things is the clothes rails in the rooms. We wanted to put them in instead of big bulky wardrobes so my sister who is an architect came up with this design and we approached the local blacksmith who created it for us.”
Grant Seaton, Senior Business Lending Manager at The Cumberland, made sure the purchase went as smoothly as possible for the new business owners.
“For Peter and Amanda, like lots of our guesthouse customers, this was a first foray into the industry, and they came to us after disappointing treatment from another lender. This is where our hospitality industry expertise really came in handy.
“Some of the things the bank didn’t want to deal with are quite common for this type of property, which The Cumberland understands. We treat every case individually and look into any unusual aspects and work through them.”
Are you dreaming of owning your own hospitality business, or starting up already? If you think we could help you with financial support, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.