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Millionaire to revamp hotel in big buy-out

Simon Rigby

Simon Rigby

A high profile Fylde entreprenuer has bought up a prominent hotel with a view to transforming it as part of his business empire.

Simon Rigby, who owns a raft of businesses including the luxury Villa hotel at Wrea Green, has moved to buy the Premier Inn at Kirkham from Whitbreads.

The 28-room hotel, off Junction 3 of the M55, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum and will now undergo an extensive refurbishment as it is rebranded to The Villa Express.

The Villa, in Wrea Green, is a former 19th century gentleman’s residence which has 31 rooms.

Along with The Villa Hotel, the group is also preparing to open new Lake District venue The Villa Levens in Spring 2014, is the club caterer for Preston North End Football Club, operates outside catering arm The Villa Outside and sells its own brand of food under the Villa Finest brand.

Simon Rigby, entrepreneur and owner of the Villa Group, was advised on the acquisition by law firm Napthens.

The new venue will be managed by Jayne Taylor, also general manager of The Villa hotel.

The Villa Express will continue to operate as normal while it is refurbished.

Jayne said: “The Villa Express is in a prime location off the M55, and will be a great addition to the group’s portfolio.

“We will be aiming to attract those looking for weekend stays, mid-week breaks and corporate customers.”

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