Award-winning Ashford event venue expands

Events Posted 25/11/19
Kent’s Frasers of Egerton is set to significantly boost turnover by transforming an unused dairy barn into energy-efficient accommodation, thanks to a helping hand from the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC).

A destination event venue in Egerton, near Ashford, is set to significantly boost turnover by increasing facilities available to guests and extending the existing ‘season’ for hospitality and events.

The plans come after Frasers of Egerton, a working 300-acre dairy farm and hospitality business owned by Adam and Lisa-Jane Fraser, secured a six-figure funding facility from the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC) to convert a redundant concrete barn into contemporary, flexible and energy-efficient accommodation.

Over the past decade, Frasers has grown to include a 2 Automobile Association (AA) Rosette award-winning restaurant, guesthouse and boutique wedding and corporate events venue, as well as being a popular location for filming and photoshoots.

Against a backdrop of rapid growth in the UK domestic tourism market in recent years, Stags Barn has welcomed a steady flow of guests since being open for bookings in September 2019 and is set to increase Frasers of Egerton’s annual turnover by 10-15 per cent.

The funding has also been invested in making the barn sustainable, featuring a 24kVA solar array, a rainwater harvesting system, an air source heat pump and high levels of insulation.

With Stags Barn, Frasers can now accommodate 22 guests for corporate events, as well as groups of family and friends. Frasers is the perfect place for those looking for a unique destination for a weekend retreat, celebration or holiday, with many guests celebrating milestone birthdays, anniversaries and hen parties.

Lisa-Jane Fraser, owner of Frasers of Egerton, said: “We’ve steadily grown our core business by diversifying our dairy enterprise into an established destination venue over the past 25 years. As our hospitality business has grown, so too has the need for additional accommodation onsite so that we can broaden our customer base in a competitive market.

“The funding has enabled us to breathe new life into a redundant farm building and provide luxurious yet environmentally-friendly accommodation for guests, without having a negative impact on our working capital.

“AMC has remained firmly by our side for 16 years, taking the time to understand our business, which has enabled it to provide a funding package for this project that’s tailored to our needs.”

Jon Drew, regional agricultural manager for the South East at AMC, said: “With a booming staycation market in the UK, short breaks to the Kent countryside have never been more popular. Tourism is a real powerhouse sector for our regional economy, and businesses like Frasers of Egerton are flying the flag for the region by providing first-class accommodation.

“We’ve used our sector experience in helping rural businesses diversify their income and local knowledge to support the business in numerous ventures over the years, enabling them to achieve a sustainable long-term future.

“Supporting ambitious farming and rural businesses in the region is just another example of how we’re helping Britain prosper, serving a crucial sector of the UK economy.”

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