11/16/2018 | Pubs

Renowned Cotswolds model village & inn finds new owner

The Old New Inn & Model Village, situated in the village of Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire, has been sold through specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co to a husband and wife team with strong backgrounds in the hospitality sector.

Sitting within the tourist favourite and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds, the site is hugely popular with visitors keen to see the Model Village. A one ninth scale exact replica of Bourton-on-the-Water and crafted by local builders from local Cotswold stone, it is a major attraction in the area due to its artistry and historical prevalence. Built in 1936, it is one of the oldest model villages in England and the only one to be given Grade II listed status. Recognised for its rarity, the Model Village draws in over 100,000 visitors a year from across the UK and internationally. 

The Old New Inn is also Grade II listed, dating back to 1712, and provides a substantial venue for guests to enjoy traditional surroundings, featuring original stone fireplaces, flagstone flooring, and wooden beamed ceilings.

A popular and picturesque location, Bourton-on-the-Water is affectionately known as ‘The Venice of the Cotswolds’ and benefits from a large volume of custom to the area and good access to a number of larger towns and cities, including Cheltenham and Oxford. 

The previous owners, Mr & Mrs Atherton operated the business since 1999 and, due to the huge popularity and success of the Model Village, decided to limit the inn’s offering in 2011, opening only during the day from April to September. They decided to move on in order to retire and comment, “We have thoroughly enjoyed the last 19 years here and have been delighted with the increase in visitors to the Model Village.  We were honoured to be the second family to own this unique attraction and have taken pride in renovating it and introducing additional exhibits. Now we are looking forward to our retirement and wish Andrew & Julie all the best as we are sure they’ll only boost the business further!”

New owners, Andrew and Julie Lund-Yates, both have extensive experience in the hospitality trade, with Andrew having held various hotel and venue management roles, as well as previously owning a catering business, and Julie running her own corporate events company. They plan to reopen the Old New Inn full time, providing a day to evening food and beverage offering, as well as utilising the letting rooms as high quality guest accommodation. They comment, “We’re both incredibly excited to be taking on this fantastic piece of history in an area of the country we’ve been fortunate enough to call our home for the past 20 years or so. We’ve got great plans to re-open the Inn and provide fantastic food, drink and accommodation, and bring the old place alive again!”

Nicholas Calfe, Director based in Christie & Co’s Bristol office handled the sale and comments, “The Old New Inn & Model Village was a truly unique business and generated an extraordinary amount of interest due to its profitability, location and massive scope for growth. With offers received from UK and overseas parties and potential buyers from across the leisure, tourism and hospitality sectors, this speaks volumes about the value and demand for multi-faceted destinations such as this.

“Having helped our clients find the right new operators in Andrew and Julie, who are incredibly well suited to running and growing the pub and accommodation side of the business, we are pleased that the Old New Inn will gain a new lease of life alongside the wildly popular Model Village.”

The leasehold interest of The Old New Inn & Model Village was sold off an asking price of £595,000.