A country house wedding venue in Warwickshire is in new hands.
Ashton Lodge at Stretton-under-Fosse, Rugby, has been taken over by The Venue Group, which specialises in managing and operating country wedding venues across the UK from its headquarters in neighbouring Northamptonshire.
The new operator says it is business as usual for Ashton Lodge, with its existing staff and bookings being retained, but has plans to further enhance its reputation as a wedding venue and extend into corporate events.
Richard Bray, a director of The Venue Group, said: “We are always looking to expand our portfolio of country wedding venues and were attracted to Ashton Lodge as it is on our doorstep and is an existing business with a good reputation and bookings.
“It is a beautiful country house dating back to the early 1900s, with many of its original period features, and set in three acres of grounds. It is licenced for civil ceremonies and hosts about 70 weddings a year on an exclusive basis, catering for up to 150 guests.
“It was a small hotel prior to its previous owners turning it into a wedding venue within the last decade and its 16 bedrooms are a big bonus.
“We are supremely confident that we can grow and improve the business. With our expertise, we believe we can enhance the operation and service to make it an even better experience for brides and grooms.
“We will also be increasing the corporate offering as Ashton Lodge is well-placed for Coventry, Rugby and Leicester to exclusively host company events in a country house setting, from parties and launches to away days and client entertainment.”
The Venue Group’s portfolio includes country wedding venues in Hertfordshire and on the Norfolk and Suffolk border. Its sister company, The Chopping Block, provides in-house catering from its base at Flecknoe, Rugby.
The operator partners with commercial property investors looking to diversify their portfolios and invest into the growing country wedding venue sector.
The Venue Group bought the Ashton Lodge business and conducted a sale and lease back of the building with The Wigley Group, a leading commercial property, risk and construction company in the Midlands.
James Davies, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “We are delighted to have formed this relationship with The Venue Group.
“Ashton Lodge is an anomaly in our commercial property portfolio, although it is the second country house we have acquired in Warwickshire in the last 18 months with Kings House at Stockton being converted into our new company headquarters.
“The Venue Group’s long-term strategy and what they want to achieve with future growth is something we want to support from a property point of view, and hopefully help them build a portfolio of well-managed and located venues.”
A series of open days will be held at Ashton Lodge over the coming months with the next on Sunday, June 24, from 1pm to 4pm.