Liquidation buyout of Drayton weddings and events venue saves 20 jobs

epu marry in norfolk rw amy and anthony Amy and Anthony Waygood – Drayton Old Lodge – photography by

epu marry in norfolk rw amy and anthony Amy and Anthony Waygood – Drayton Old Lodge – photography by Kelly Trivedi, Love Story Wedding Ph otography, www.lovestoryweddingphotography.co.uk) - Credit: Archant

The Norfolk company behind a weddings, events and business centre at Drayton Old Lodge has been bought out of liquidation, securing around 20 jobs.

Drayton Old Lodge Limited has taken control of the property following the collapse of DOL (Norwich) Ltd in July.

The company now plans to focus on 'developing and growing' its managed office space, while the wedding and catering side of the business has been outsourced to a new service provider, Drayton Lodge Catering Company Ltd.

The new owner John Barnard, who was also a director of DOL (Norwich) Ltd, said: 'I am delighted to be able to continue the business and I am now looking forward to growing and developing the managed office space part of the business. There are currently a number of office spaces let to a mixture of businesses from start-ups to established businesses.'

In 2012, DOL (Norwich) Ltd was granted planning permission for a permanent function room at Drayton Old Lodge in an ambitious scheme that would have seen the site developed into a 30-bedroom hotel.

Mr Barnard – whose family had built up Bawburgh Golf Club – had previously sought interested parties for a £6m development, but the economic climate at the time had made it difficult.

DOL (Norwich) Ltd also faced challenges after it lost a battle with Broadland District Council for the continued use of a marquee on the site. But the new catering company may intend to use a temporary marquee at Drayton Old Lodge under the current planning rules.

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Mr Barnard was part of a four-strong consortium, DOL (Norwich) Ltd, which had taken over Drayton Old Lodge in 2006.

Matthew Downing, a corporate associate at East Anglian law firm Ashton KCJ, led the transaction.

He said: 'Doing a transaction in these circumstances always needs careful management and consideration of those impacted. I am pleased that the future of this venue has been resolved and that there is now a positive outcome for the venue.'

Do you have a business story? Contact business editor Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk