UK: The Green Dragon Hotel in Hereford has been acquired by a consortium of predominantly local investors.
The new owners intend to “restore it to its former glory with a long-term programme of extensive refurbishment and business development”.
The project has been led by Julian Vaughan, supported by Christian Dangerfield, acting for Blue Sky Corporate Finance. Vaughan has spent much of his life in the hotel industry and he was, until recently, commercial director of Journey, a hotel branding and marketing company. He has also been involved in transforming his wife’s family home at Dewsall Court into a wedding and events venue.
The consortium includes entrepreneur Luke Johnson, who lives near Malvern and who owns Penyard House Hotel, near Ross-on Wye.
Robin Sheppard, founder and chairman of Bespoke Hotels, the UK’s largest independent hotel group and chairman of The Green Dragon Hotel’s new board of directors, said: “The Green Dragon Hotel is a real gem and its restoration should be a tremendous boost for Hereford and Herefordshire. Julian and Christian have some very exciting ideas about how to reclaim its position at the heart of the city with broader national appeal.”
The Green Dragon Hotel has 83 bedrooms, representing nearly a quarter of Hereford’s hotel bedroom inventory, and contains some of the city’s largest internal hospitality spaces. As a Grade II-listed building, it retains many of its original interior and external features.
Julian Vaughan said: “There has been a coaching-inn on the site of The Green Dragon Hotel for hundreds of years and we feel strongly that it should be a thriving and dynamic part of Hereford’s future. We plan to celebrate its past, while creating a 21st century meeting-point for Herefordshire’s leisure and business communities. Five million tourists visit our county every year but relatively few come into the city – we see that as a real opportunity. Herefordshire is home to a huge number of fantastic and innovative independent food and drink producers; we want to create a show-case for them in The Green Dragon Hotel which will ultimately attract visitors from all over the world.”
The hotel will continue to trade as normal and remain open during the phased refurbishment programme, which will begin in the winter. No job losses are anticipated.