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New owners for Richmond guest house

A pair of former airline employees have taken ownership of West Layton Manor after securing six figure funding from NatWest.

Partners Mark Devlin and Richard Sharpe, have used the funding package from the bank to support the purchase of the historic country manor house in Yorkshire, using their life savings to finance the remainder of the property.

Mark, an Australian native has quit his job as Heathrow operations manager at British Airways to run the guest house full-time and Richard will provide support during evenings and weekends, alongside his full-time job as a pilot with Emirates.

Since acquiring West Layton Manor, the pair have spent several weeks refreshing its furnishings and decor and installed a new guest suite, with six bedrooms now available. Each luxurious bedroom comes equipped with en-suite bathrooms and bed and breakfast as standard.

The guest house now boasts occupancy rates of 80-100 per cent at weekends and has received top reviews from guests on TripAdvisor. The business is also due to appear on a Channel 4 programme that follows the journey of start-up businesses, later in the year.

Mark said: “It had always been our dream to own and run a guest house and when we were working in Dubai in 2018 we spotted West Layton Manor online and knew before we’d even seen it that it was the one for us. We’d been saving for five years and the additional funding from NatWest meant we could put in an offer straightaway.

“The bank has been extremely supportive throughout the whole process, providing much more than just access to finance, but advice on all aspects of running a business.

“Since acquiring the guest house, it’s been non-stop, but we’ve loved every minute of it and we’ve really enjoyed serving our guests and making sure they have the best stay possible. We can’t wait to welcome even more over the coming months and years.”

Rob Utton, relationship manager, NatWest, said: “It is clear to see that Mark and Richard have a real passion for running their own guest house business and this is reflected in the exceptional customer reviews and industry-leading occupancy rates. It’s been a pleasure to support them on their journey and I wish them both every success for the future.”


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