Inn Collection Group founder retires

The founder of leading northern pub operator The Inn Collection Group has announced his retirement.

Keith Liddell has stepped down from his role as executive deputy chairman to take up planned retirement, after being at the helm of the award-winning pubco for over 15 years.

Liddell founded the company with his first Northumberland site, The Lindisfarne Inn – formerly The Plough at Beal, near Holy Island in 2006. Since then he has been instrumental in positioning the company as a foremost provider of food-driven pubs with rooms and creating its signature ‘Eat, Drink, Sleep and Explore’ brand that has become the group’s DNA.

Playing a pivotal role throughout the company’s rapid expansion and acquisitions, Liddell was influential in carving out his vision for The Inn Collection Group to expand its presence outside its north east heartland, acquiring sites in Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire and County Durham.

A further 40-bed inn is under construction on Sunderland’s seafront in Seaburn, while the group has accelerated growth plans to reach 22 sites by 31 March 2021.

Liddell said, “I have been very proud to be part of The Inn Collection Group’s journey, through the good times as well as the current challenging situation we have all experienced and continue to do so right now.

“The Inn Collection Group has achieved countless accolades and successes over the years and its ability for continual evolution in its people and estate is down to the unique team behind it. I know I am stepping down safe in the knowledge that the company is in the best possible hands.

“We have exciting plans for the future as the group continues its buy and build expansion. This will provide much needed employment opportunities across the north of England, bringing vital economic spend in the communities around our sites and of course, giving our customers more superb places to eat, drink, sleep and explore from.

“But after 45 years of working non-stop in the trade, I’m due a bit of a break and being the customer,” he joked.

Managing director Sean Donkin said, “Keith has taught us how to work hard whilst having fun and experiencing the most amazing opportunities. The lessons and memories he has created will be here for many years to come.

“We wish Keith well in his retirement and hope as he reflects on all the years of work and dedication invested into the group and all of us here, he can take pride in knowing he has created a great team with strong values which his trademark kindness runs through.'

Donkin added, “We hope Keith enjoys spending more time with those he loves the most. The opportunities he has given us all are undoubtedly life changing and I hope that in the years to come we each are able to do the same for others.”

Liddell is looking forward to spending more time with his family and pursuing his love of travelling when restrictions are lifted.