Hotel opening expected to offer 100 jobs in Canterbury

Amy Horsfield By Amy Horsfield
22 January 2019 | Updated 22 January 2019

UK: Up to 100 jobs will be created through the opening of a £5.5 million boutique hotel on the edge of Canterbury.

The Home Grown Hotels group, which bought the historic Bridge Place a year ago, has been busy transforming and extending the Jacobean mansion and gardens.

It's now preparing for its opening in May by putting together a new staffing team.

Robin Hutson, Hotel chain boss, said: "We tend to employ a mixture of people with both previous experience and some with none, so long as they are prepared to work hard and have the right attitude. Then, perhaps, they might join one of our apprenticeship schemes."

He says there will be roles in every area of the business, from chefs, waiters, bar staff and receptionists to gardeners and massage therapists.

There is an open day for applicants at the Westgate Hall in Canterbury on Tuesday, February 5, and more information is available on the company's website.

Bridge Place is a Grade I-listed 17th century mansion, which sits in five acres and was built by Dutchman Sir Arnold Braems - the first manager of Dover Harbour Board.

Home Grown Hotels, which operates under the Pig Hotels brand, bought the property from its long-time owner Peter Malkin, who lived there for more than 50 years and ran it as Bridge Country Club.

Among the major changes is the creation of a linked coach house with bedrooms, a restaurant, conservatory, courtyard and kitchen.

Further accommodation is being provided made from reclaimed material from an island within the grounds.

In addition, there will be a restored gate house offering another two bedrooms.

Together with seven newly-refurbished bedrooms in the main house,there will be 29 rooms altogether.

The gardens will be cultivated to grow much of the produce it intends to use in its kitchens - with the rest being sourced from local producers within a 25-mile radius.

He said: "It's both an exciting and slightly nerve-wracking time because we have set a date to be open and have a team of up to 80 tradesmen and women on-site working flat-out."

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