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HOSPITALITY

IN BRIEF

Punch reveals £20m pub investment plan

Punch Taverns has announced

plans to invest £20m across its UK pub estate to help encourage growth through a series of "small-scale" improvements. The pub group has revealed that 450 properties will benefit from an average of £37,000 under its Investing For Growth (I4G) to carry out work to boost trade. Work has already started at 12 sites, focussing on upgrading food promotions and improving cask-ale deals in the lead up to the World Cup and the summer.

Leisureplex acquires Welsh seaside hotel

Coach holiday and seaside

hotel operator Leisureplex has acquired the 67-bedroom Seabank Hotel in Porthcawl, South Wales, from Park Hill Hotels in a deal worth around £2m. Facilities at the hotel include a 120-cover restaurant, a 100-cover bar and five function rooms. Leisure property specialist Christie + Co acted on behalf of Park Hill Hotels on the deal. Leisureplex currently operates 17 hotels in the UK and the Seabank Hotel will become the company's third Welsh hotel.

Travelodge appoints new chief executive

Budget hotel chain Travelodge has announced that Guy Parsons will take up the position of chief executive officer from 1 July, after being chosen to succeed Grant Hearn. Hearn – the group's chief executive officer since 2003 – is poised to become executive chair, while former non-executive chair Keith Hamill has been appointed deputy chair. Parsons joined Travelodge as its managing director UK in October 2004, having served as managing director at restaurant chain TGI Friday's and sales and marketing director at Whitbread.

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Clapham House announces GBK plans

Restaurant chain set for expansion after London-based group reveals share issue

By Pete Hayman

Restaurant operator Clapham House Group (CHG) has revealed plans to raise around £2.2m through a new share placing to grow its Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) business. More than 3.7 million shares

have been made available through its conditional placing, which will go towards support- ing the UK-based group's restaurant opening programme. CHG currently operates 58

restaurants under the GHK and The Real Greek brands across the country, as well as 15 international outlets. Expansion plans are set to be carried out in the financial years (FY) ending March 2011 and 2012. Paul Campbell, the group's chief executive, said: "We

Ash slows hote- liers' recovery

The recovery of the UK hospitality sector has been slowed by the volcanic ash cloud that caused air travel disrup- tion earlier this month. Robert Barnard, partner

for hotel consultancy services at PKF, revealed that increasing occupancy rates since the start of the year have been hit by cancelled bookings. Meanwhile, preliminary

figures for March released by PKF Hotel Consultancy Services revealed a 5.7 per cent increase in occupancy at London hotels compared with the same period last year. Regional hotels,

however, continue to suffer as room rate dropped by 6.3 per cent.

The new share issue will help CHG further expand the GBK chain

slowed our expansion pro- gramme over the last two years during the recession. "We chose our new sites

carefully during this period and will continue to do so. "We have already identified a

number of locations which we believe have good potential for

FY 2011 and 2012. This will drive the continuing growth of GBK, as well as creating employment opportunities within the company." Since acquiring GHK in 2004,

CHG has expanded the business from six restaurants to 51, 29 of which are located in London.

Marriott opens at Lingfield Park

The hotel's corner rooms will provide views of the racing venue

By Martin Nash

Marriott Hotels and Resorts has opened the 116-room Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club under a franchise agreement with Arena Leisure. The property is adjacent to

Lingfield Park Racecourse, between London and Brighton and one of the UK's oldest horse racing venues, birds-eye views of which can be had from the hotel's corner rooms.

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Facilities at the hotel include

Breathe Spa – offering an indoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna and fitness centre – and a newly landscaped 18-hole golf course complete with teaching academy On-site facilities also include

a restaurant – called the Cyprium Bar and Grill – and a selection of conference and banqueting suites. An official opening celebra- tion is planned for 21 June.

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