Crown Golf Property, the owner of the St Mellion Estate in Cornwall, has appointed Howard Jones in the new role of Managing Director to lead the luxury family and golf resort. Following a restructure of the senior management team, Ian Davies the former GM, has left the business.
Howard joins St Mellion from Born Free where he was CEO of the international animal conservation and welfare charity. He was formerly a director at the Eden Project. He started his career as an officer in the British military.
Howard is tasked with growing the St Mellion business, which includes an 80-key hotel, the Nicklaus and Kernow championship golf courses, 28-holiday cottages, gym, spa and conference space.
Earlier this month, Crown Golf unveiled a tie-up with London-based boutique property development and investment company, Sequoia Real Estate, to transform the St Mellion Estate with a £30m investment.
A planning application lodged with Cornwall Council seeks permission for a scheme to evolve the resort from its traditional underpinning as a golf-centric venue into a new family-friendly luxury leisure resort.
The plan is to develop 230 cedarwood holiday lodges, together with a range of new facilities to attract the family staycation market. This includes a kids club, adventure golf club, farm shop and cafe, children’s adventure play area, kitchen garden, a new wedding venue, creation of a lake and new cycle and walking trails.
A project to remodel the St Mellion hotel building is already underway. The first phase, the refurbishment of the gym, has just completed. Future phases will see improvements to the hotel rooms, restaurant, bar, spa and reception areas. Significant operational and technological improvements are planned to enhance the guest experience.
Jason Mills, CEO of Crown Golf Property, said: “As we move towards the hoped-for grant of planning permission, our attention has turned to implementing our vision to transform the St Mellion Estate into one of the leading luxury family-friendly leisure resorts in the UK.
“In addition to building out the masterplan, we recognise that delivering a new St Mellion will require significant new investment in the existing facilities. But bricks and mortar projects alone are not enough. We need to look, act, sound and operate differently. Growing the team, delivering consistent first-class customer service across all areas, unlocking new revenue generation and driving the diverse business forward as one are equally important. Howard’s appointment is fundamental in achieving this step change.”
Howard Jones, the new Managing Director of the St Mellion Estate, said: “My whole career has been all about leadership and managing transformation in business, alongside positive change. I’m excited to be appointed MD at such an important point in St Mellion’s transformation.
“Having played a key role in developing the Eden Project into Cornwall’s leading tourist attraction, I’ve learnt how to build and inspire teams to deliver excellent service and performance. To this can be added my global experience and skills in business, community engagement and my commitment to a sustainable future for all.
“As a resident of Cornwall, myself, I look forward to working with the existing team, local community and all our customers to lead St Mellion into its second decade of Crown Golf ownership.”
In addition to owning the St Mellion Hotel and Golf Resort, Crown Golf is the largest owner and operator of golf courses in the UK, with 16 sites across London, South East, and Southern England.
Following the disposal of some non-core assets over the last six months, the business has evolved from a purely operational golf business, into a significant real estate and leisure development company. It has further leisure development plans in the pipeline.
St Mellion International Resort https://st-mellion.co.uk
Crown Golf https://crown-golf.co.uk/