Historic Wynnstay Hotel sold to pub chain after being owned by same family for 30 years

An historic independent hotel in Shropshire has been sold to a pub chain after being owned by the same family for more than 30 years.

The Wynnstay Hotel in Church Street, Oswestry, has been sold
The Wynnstay Hotel in Church Street, Oswestry, has been sold

The Wynnstay Hotel, in Oswestry town centre, has been sold by the Woodward family to RedCat Pub Company for an undisclosed sum.

The late Bill Woodward, who founded Woodward Foods and Cold Move, bought the hotel back in 1988 and it was later taken over by his eldest son Nigel.

It will now be operated by The Coaching Inn Group, a subsidiary of RedCat, which runs 25 hotels across England and Wales including The Royal Oak in Welshpool and The Swan in Stafford. The group has not yet confirmed what changes will be made to the hotel and its staff.

The Wynnstay in Oswestry pictured in 1954. Photo: National Library of Wales

The landmark Grade-II listed hotel on Church Street was built in the 18th century for major landowner Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, who inherited the Wynnstay Estate.

It was known as the Cross Foxes before becoming the Wynnstay Arms and then the Wynnstay Hotel.

It is a popular wedding and event venue in the town and also includes a gym, spa, pool, bowling green, restaurant and the adjoining Wilsons Bar and Restaurant which is included in the sale.

Wilsons is in a former grocers between the main hotel and the Oak Inn, a building which is also grade-II listed, while the gym and spa is in the old coaching house.

RedCat was launched in February 2021 and its strategy is to acquire quality inns, managed and tenanted pubs across the UK.

It says it aims to provide the operational expertise and investment pubs need to get back on their feet and accelerate their growth as the sector recovers from the pandemic.

Kevin Charity, chief executive of The Coaching Inn Group, said: “I’m pleased that our expansion is continuing at pace, following the latest addition of the Wynnstay Hotel & Spa to our estate.

"RedCat’s support is bearing fruit and we’re working hard to keep our momentum going and expand our estate of historic coaching inns further in the coming months.”

Meanwhile Rooney Anand, executive chairman of RedCat Pub Company, praised the growth of The Coaching Inn Group but did not mention The Wynnstay's role in the plans.

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