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Historic Cornish hotel acquired by experienced operators with big plans

The White Hart Hotel, a closed hotel in Launceston, Cornwall, has been sold via Christie & Co.

The White Hart enjoys a prominent position in the centre of Launceston, an historic market town regarded as the ancient capital of Cornwall, which boasts many examples of early architecture including a medieval south gate and the ruins of a Norman castle.

Built in the early 17th century, the historic property is the sole hotel in the town and remains an integral asset at the centre of the Launceston community. The Grade II-listed building houses many ancient features including a Norman doorway thought to originate from Launceston Castle.

The hotel is arranged over three storeys, with the ground floor including a bar, dining area, snooker room, conservatory, function rooms and a large ballroom. The upper floors house 20 ensuite bedrooms and a manager’s flat. There is a car park to the rear of the building.

The previous owners, Mike and Clarissa Jordan purchased the hotel through Christie & Co in 2018, however they were forced to close the business in 2019 following a fire in the roof annex. Prior to this, the business traded as a successful coaching inn, with strong performing multi-income streams including a weddings and events offering popular with the local community.

The White Hart has been purchased by Lisa and Mike Howard and their family, who are currently expanding their hospitality portfolio within the area, having recently purchased the Racehorse Inn located in North Hill just outside of Launceston. The family also owned the White Horse Inn Launceston up until 2008 when it was sold to St Austell Brewery.

Lisa commented, “We are delighted to have purchased the White Hart Hotel. Our intention is to restore the hotel to its former glory and bring it back to the heart of Launceston.

'We have big plans for the hotel which include moving the bar, a new coffee lounge and improvements throughout the building. We have not yet set a date for reopening but hope to be in a position to do a partial opening by Christmas.”

Stephen Champion, Director in Christie & Co, said, “The White Hart Hotel has long been an important asset to the Launceston Community and its shock closure due to fire in 2019 was devastating to many in the local area.

'This is the second time the property has come to market through Christie & Co over the past four years, and we are pleased to see the building and business rescued by Michael and Lisa Howard, who we understand plan to reopen the hotel after some improvement works.

“Speculative buyers keen to take advantage of the booming staycation market are snapping up good quality hotel assets such as this hotel across the South West region. Buyers are predominantly domestic, cash funded and willing to take a long-term view on the current uncertainty surrounding the sector.”