Blue Training UK Ltd has bought the Bower Hotel in Chadderton for an undisclosed sum after securing funding from NatWest. The company will take over the day to day running of the hotel and launch its own training facility for students that are looking to work in the hospitality and catering sectors.
Following the purchase, Blue Training UK is investing a further six figure sum to transform a separate building at the rear of the site into the training academy and to refurbish the hotel's bar, reception and function rooms.
The academy will provide young people from across Greater Manchester with numerous hospitality and catering related apprenticeships, including food production and cooking, beverage service, housekeeping and front of house reception.
Each apprentice will study at the academy for three months and will be offered the chance to gain valuable experience by working at the Bower Hotel whilst they study. They will then move into full-time employment and return to the academy on a day-release basis whilst they complete their qualifications.
Blue Training UK was established by Philip Healey in 2003 following a 15 year training and development career in the hospitality, catering and retail industries. The business, which employs 15 staff, provides a considerable variety of programmes, ranging from NVQ's for school leavers, through to training for corporate organisations such as OCS, Barratts / Priceless Shoes and Debenhams.
The Bower Hotel, which was built in the Victorian era by a wealthy cotton mill owner, has 72 bedrooms, three conference rooms and its own restaurant. The hotel is situated a short drive from the M60 Motorway. Blue Training has relocated its business operations from Salford to the hotel.
Philip Healey, director of Blue Training UK, said: "It has taken us 18 months to identify the right sight on which to launch the academy concept. We chose the Bower Hotel due to its excellent transport links and the fact that it has a good, well established reputation. The idea behind the academy is to provide youngsters aged 19 and under with the opportunity to build a career in the hospitality sector by receiving training and work experience in a fully functioning hotel all from one location."
NatWest's commercial banking team in Bolton provided Blue Training with funding to help complete the acquisition. Mark Collier, NatWest Business Development Manager, said: "Philip has created a unique and original concept to deliver vocational training and practical experience from the same location. He has a very strong background in all aspects of training, hospitality and hotel management and we are very happy to support his plans."