I was honoured to have hosted a reception in Parliament to mark the restoration and conversion to five-star hotel of the 18th century Grantley Hall near Ripon.
I recently visited Grantley Hall, which is due to open on 6th July as a luxury hotel and wellness retreat, and it is stunning. Valeria Sykes and her partner, Collin Little, bought the Grade 2 dilapidated mansion in 2015 and have been working round the clock to make it into the fantastic hotel venue that it is today with a wonderful backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales. Not only will it bring 200 new permanent job opportunities to the area, but it will be another first-class tourist destination to add to the many others across North Yorkshire. I congratulate everyone involved in making it happen.
The event was also supported by Welcome to Yorkshire, which has recently announced that tourism in the county is now worth over £9 billion per annum, which is an increase of £1 billion on the previous year. Yorkshire welcomed a record-breaking 1.39 million international visitors in 2018 and was the only region in the UK to have seen an increase in the number of visits, length of stay and spend by overseas visitors.
Speaking after the event, which was well attended by MPs and Peers, Valeria Sykes said “I would like to personally thank Kevin Hollinrake and the Welcome to Yorkshire team for the fabulous reception at the House of Commons on Monday evening. The Terrace Suite was the perfect location for the event and even the weather was kind to us which allowed us to make the most of the wonderful views from the outdoor terrace overlooking the River Thames. The room was filled with such excitement and enthusiasm for the hotel and I really can’t wait to start welcoming our first guests as we mark the next chapter of Grantley Hall.”
During the restoration Mrs Sykes was determined make use of the many wonderful produce and resources available in her native Yorkshire to bring the mansion back to its former glory. The Yorkshire-born chef, Shaun Rankin, who gained his first Michelin star in 2005, will be returning to his roots to oversee Grantley Hall’s fine dining restaurant and the hotel is developing its own kitchen garden complete with bee hives and fruit trees within the grounds.