Barton Grange Hotel near Preston sold to owner's of Wigan's Lancashire Manor Hotel by Topping family

The family-run Barton Grange hotel has been sold so the Preston-based company can concentrate on the Garden Centre and Flower Bowl site.

The Topping family has sold the 51-room hotel on Garstang Road to Mellors Catering Services, based in Skelmersdale, which also owns the 81 Bedroom Lancashire Manor Hotel at Pimbo near Wigan.

The Barton Grange Hotel, opened by Edward and Ada Topping in 1951, was the first business to be established under the Barton Grange name.

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It will continue to offer weddings, conferences and events under the new ownership and with current staff.

Existing event bookings at the hotel, which has two function rooms, a restaurant, gym and swimming pool, will not be affected by the sale.

Barton Grange MD, Guy Topping, grandson of the original owners, said: “We are extremely pleased that the Hotel has been bought by Mellors.

“Like us, they are an award-winning, family business and we know they will continue the traditions of excellent hospitality and first-class customer service for which the Hotel is known.”

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“With the successful opening of the Flower Bowl last year, alongside the thriving Garden Centre, it was inevitable that our focus would become concentrated on our site at Brock.

“Our plan is to continue developing and improving the Garden Centre and to set new standards in the delivery of leisure facilities in the UK. It’s a very exciting time for our business.”

As well as the Garden Centre and the Flower Bowl, the Barton Grange Group also has its Barton Grange Landscapes business, two plant nurseries and the Barton Grange Marina on

the Lancaster Canal.

Mellors Catering Services began life as a bakery shop on Lord street in Southport in 1840, expanding into wholesale bakeries and coffee shops,

before establishing the catering business in 1995.

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Beside the Lancashire Manor Hotel, Mellors now operates over 285 on-site catering contracts in business and education premises across northern England.

Mark Timmerman, Mellors MD, added: “We are really excited with the purchase of the Barton Grange Hotel, with its excellent reputation and quality standards.

All the hotel staff are transferring to our employment, and what a professional and dedicated team they are. It’s been a delight to work with them over the transfer period.

“We welcome Andrea Burton as the new Hotel General Manager.

"A resident of Preston with many years’ experience in senior positions within the hotel industry, Andrea will lead our plans for further investment and development of the great opportunity this hotel presents to us.

"We’d also like to thank all our future guests for supporting the hotel.”

The sale was completed on Friday December 13.