Chris Welch of Sintons with entrepreneur David Whitehead.
Jane Imrie

Entrepreneur bucks hospitality trend with wedding venue plans for North East acquisition

A North East entrepreneur has announced plans to create a new wedding destination for the region at his latest acquisition.

Leisure specialist David Whitehead has added Whickham pub The Woodmans Arms to his portfolio, and is investing in a dedicated wedding venue on site.

David, who also owns The Jolly Fisherman in Craster and Rosie’s Bar in central Newcastle, admitted it is “probably not ideal timing” to purchase a leisure venue due to the current COVID-19 crisis, but he is confident about growth opportunities after restrictions are lifted.

David commented: “The Woodmans Arms has a long track record of success and it’s a great venue, so I’m really pleased to have been able to complete the purchase.

“These are very uncertain times and I must confess to thinking long and hard about whether to proceed, but it remains a strong investment so I decided to take the plunge. I’m really confident going forward and we have some great plans with the new wedding venue and the new rooms. There is a lot of potential here for the future.

“This is a very tough year but it isn’t going to last forever. People will always want to go out to eat and drink, people will always get married and there’s no way weddings are always going to be restricted to 15 guests. We are preparing and investing now for when that business comes back.”

David was supported with his latest acquisition by law firm Sintons. Christopher Welch, managing partner and longstanding advisor to David, commented: “David is a very ambitious entrepreneur who quickly identifies the potential in an opportunity and goes for it.

“Purchasing and investing in a new acquisition is a brave step to take in any climate, but particularly in such turbulent times as these, during which the leisure sector is suffering so much.

“The Woodmans Arms has a strong and established reputation and David is investing now to build that even further, creating a premium wedding venue and suite of rooms which will look forward to welcoming guests as soon as it is safe and permitted to do so.”

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