Global Edition

Development opportunity at Bowood Estate

9.00am 23rd April 2001 - Courses

Humberts Leisure, on behalf of the Marquis of Lansdowne, invite interest from a national or international hotel company to participate in the construction and operation of a 120 bedroom luxury four to five star hotel with substantial conferencing facilities and health spa.

The joint venture will also embrace Bowood Golf Club and Conference Centre with 18 hole course, 3 hole academy course, and driving range. Additional land will be made available for a further 9 holes of golf within the beautiful parkland landscape so the course can be played in three loops of 9 holes. The hotel and course will cover approximately 300 acres of the 2,000 acre park.

Peter Sandes for HL says “This undoubtedly is the foremost UK, if not European, hotel resort development opportunity to have surfaced in recent years. It has all the hallmarks and credentials that will excite hotel investors of any substance with global trading vision. Where else in the south of England can you find an entirely private walled historic estate for such commercial development, yet with easy access to the M4 motorway and rail network and thereby London, Bristol and Swindon? There is also a significant corporate gap in this region for a major golf hotel resort development to serve the market west of Swindon and east of Bristol.”

Bowood has been in the Fitzmaurice family since 1754. The Grade 1 listed park and estate is well-known for the Capability Brown landscaping and pleasure grounds, stately home with formal terraced gardens and a variety of other architecturally interesting buildings and monuments.

Bowood has survived and prospered due to the family taking steps to modernise and utilise the assets to best advantage. The present Marquis, Lord Lansdowne, took control of the estate in 1972 and opened the house and grounds to the public in 1975. Thereafter other attractions were added such as a sculpture gallery, exhibition rooms, an adventure playground for children, garden centre and retailing/restaurant facilities. There have been 2.5 million visitors to Bowood which stands as testament to the success of this business strategy.

In 1992 the Dave Thomas designed 18 hole 7,317 yard (6,691m) championship golf course opened to much acclaim and a year later was rated in the top 50 golf destinations in Europe. In 1998 a £2m clubhouse extension was opened with conference and banqueting facilities, restaurant, bar and pro-shop. Over 300,000 golfers and business delegates have visited in the past eight years.

It is now believed that this first class anchor business necessitates a market demand led requirement for hotel accommodation and associated enlarged conference/leisure facilities. After a considerable consultative process a planning application was registered on 21st December 2000. This comprises some 15,000 square metres of new build as follows:

7,700 sq m bedrooms (120)

3,340 sq m public rooms & conference space

3,130 sq m health spa

auxiliary hotel and service areas.

The architectural design and proportions of the hotel and health spa have been devised to compliment the existing golf club buildings and the estate surroundings.

It is hoped that a planning consent is approved by July 2001 with the build program to commence shortly thereafter. Interested parties will be invited to consider forming a joint venture partnership vehicle, into which the hotel/9hole development land, existing business components and additional capital will be injected, thereafter to enjoy a ground lease from the Bowood Estate. The joint venture partner will be expected to contribute development capital and, most crucially, the requisite expertise and long term objective to take the lead role in the day to day onward development and operation of the overall business.

“This is one of the most exciting and progressive business developments to be undertaken by the Estate,” said Lord Lansdowne, “and will be another very important economic component to the region, especially as the published Tourism Strategy for North Wiltshire specifies the need for a hotel of excellence’.

All enquiries please to Peter Sandes of Humberts Leisure on 01962 835960

Humberts Leisure

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