Cott Inn gets new life with Ashley’s help
18 months ago Catherine and John Grindell and Mel and Mark Annear took on the 700-year-old Cott Inn in Dartington, Totnes.
The thatched Cott Inn, part of the Green King estate, had been closed and was in need of much refurbishment before its new landlords could re-open its doors to the public.
“It’s a beautiful, iconic, old building and we all felt we could do something special with it,” says John “It’s certainly not your typical corner pub – we serve good food, have a good standard of accommodation and it’s set in some of the country’s most picturesque countryside.
“Of course, like any refurbishment project of this nature it quickly ate up our budget – but that’s what happens when you’re dealing with ancient buildings. You lift a floorboard or peel off some wallpaper and discover something unexpected.
“However, one area we really needed to complete was the toilets – the ladies and gents were in need of upgrading but we knew the banks wouldn’t be interested in helping us and we didn’t have any more savings to use. ”
That’s when John turned to Ashley Business Cash Limited. Funding for the toilet block work was arranged swiftly with repayments coming automatically via the pub’s credit card machine. It meant work could be completed before the season starts in earnest.
“It’s the first time I have ever been so enthusiastic about a service like this because of the support they have given us. To date it has been flexible, competitive and simple. They have been as good as their word. The money has helped us invest in the property without us having to jump through hoops.”
The Cott Inn re-opened in August last year and already trade is up by 25 per cent, and going into their first summer season, hopes are high that the investment and hard work will pay off.
Says John: “We are cautiously optimistic – we are slowly developing a good reputation and the area is popular with tourists. We now have five rooms available for guests and we have taken a number of bookings, so we are meeting our targets.
“We know the industry and we know it is tough but we think The Cott is special and hopefully other people will too.”