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A North East hotel and bar operator has announced the successful acquisition of the popular cafe bar known as “The Parish”, which operates from an 11th century property on the corner of North Street and Micklegate, York.

Newcastle-based Cairn Group has plans to make a series of improvements to the York bar over the coming months which will be funded from a £700k pot set aside for refurbishments to its growing portfolio of venues.

The Parish occupies a grade II-listed church development which was formerly an arts centre prior to its conversion to a public house.  The acquisition marks the new owners’ first standalone bar venture outside of its home region.

Cairn Group director Naveen Handa said: “We’re really excited to have secured this opportunity in York – a city I’m both personally fond of and have admired as a business destination for some time.  The Parish is a truly stunning building with huge potential and our location is ideal for passing footfall.”

“The team on-site are all staying on and we’ll be introducing a training programme to formally bring them on board with Cairn Group.  The bar will no doubt be a great asset for us and we’re looking forward to getting involved in York’s vibrant leisure scene.”

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP and HSBC Bank plc supported the Cairn Group on the acquisition of the business which marks the Group’s first acquisition following the £101m refinance deal completed earlier this year.

Cairn Group, a privately owned business, laid out plans in May to put £50m of the funds raised from the refinance towards an acquisition focused on growth and strengthening of its UK-wide portfolio, which already included 26 hotels and more than 30 bars and restaurants.

John Nicholson, corporate partner at Mincoffs Solicitors said: “We have acted for Cairn Group for over 25 years.  The Parish is a fantastic addition to the portfolio and we wish them well in their future plans with the venue.”

Over the past five years, the Group has spent over £40m acquiring and improving assets and doubled employee numbers in that period, establishing it as a leading player in the privately owned hotel owner and operator market.

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