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The Business Magazine May 2024
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Historic Herefordshire venue teams up with leading management group

The Business Magazine article image for: Historic Herefordshire venue teams up with leading management group
1 February 2024

Leading UK wedding venue management group Artemis has strengthened its portfolio with a new partnership with a historic estate in Herefordshire. The wedding and events specialist has signed a long-term lease on Crumplebury, a spectacular exclusive-use property on the renowned Whitbourne Estate, in Whitbourne.

The partnership takes the growing Artemis portfolio to 14, making it the largest exclusive-use wedding and events venue management group in the UK.

Crumplebury launched in November 2019 following an impressive £3 million design-and-build project by the Evans family, which has owned the 1,500-acre estate since the 1800s.

For the past five years, Crumplebury has hosted weddings, major marque car launches and exclusive events alongside its fine dining restaurant, Green Cow Kitchens.

With organic meat and game produced on the estate and a walled kitchen garden, food will continue to sit front and centre at the architecturally-designed venue, which includes a breathtaking Grand Hall, Art Gallery, 11 luxurious bedrooms and suites and a secluded Victorian estate cottage.

Featured in national magazines from Vogue to Condé Nast Traveler, the property will now be managed by Artemis alongside its other wedding venues including Combermere Abbey in Cheshire, The Pear Tree in Wiltshire and Brookfield Barn in West Sussex.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have entered into this partnership with Crumplebury,” said Stuart Owens, Artemis Managing Director Sales & Marketing. “It’s a truly spectacular property, one of the most exceptional and well-known wedding and events venues in the region, and we’re looking forward to hosting some incredible experiences.”

Artemis, based in Wrexham, north Wales, employs more than 170 full-time staff and a further 300 part-time support staff. Part of the Sustainable Wedding Alliance, for 25 years it has been transforming the look and operational performance of some of the UK’s leading wedding and events venues with significant commercial success.

“We’ll retain and enhance everything that’s great about Crumplebury, while bringing our specialist resources, expertise and support to strengthen and improve the business” added Stuart, a founding director of the Wedding Venue Support Group, which represents more than 300 UK venues. “There’s a great future ahead, and we’re thrilled to have added Crumplebury to our portfolio.”

The multi award-winning Combermere Abbey is one of Artemis’s most recent leasehold additions. The 1,000-year-old estate includes a vast Gothic mansion, walled gardens and rolling parkland, as well as a stunning Edwardian glasshouse.

In 2021, when Artemis acquired the leasehold, there were 51 weddings on the books and 58 for 2022. One year on, that number had risen to 74, with a further 76 confirmed for 2023. By the end of last year, Combermere had hosted 90 weddings in 12 months, and had taken 103 bookings.

This year, the property is set for another record year.

Artemis CEO Angus Hastie says the group is actively seeking new partnerships with other well-established, luxury wedding venues to grow the business. “With 25 years’ experience, we have been a driving force shaping the UK wedding venue sector,” he said.

“Our outstanding teams bring a unique depth of talent and expertise, and with a track record of successful acquisitions, we’re the choice for venue owners looking to explore opportunities to bring in a high-quality operator.

“There’s an exciting future ahead, and a key factor in this will be our venue investment and acquisition programme. Already the leading company in the industry, we’re focused on extending our portfolio of venues, applying our knowledge, expertise and resources to ensure their success.”

Joe Evans, owner of the Whitbourne Estate and Crumplebury’s founder, said: “I have had an extremely positive experience dealing with the team at Artemis to kick-start our new commercial partnership.

“Having started the business from scratch, it was a personal wrench to decide to relinquish the operational reins, but the transition has been dealt with efficiently and positively.

“Now the full transfer has happened, we look forward to seeing our property soar to new heights as the marketing and operational strength of Artemis beds in.  

“Having been approached by several operators in the past, we chose to partner with Artemis because they saw genuine value in the work that we had already done to create a strong brand, and whilst clearly the working practices will evolve, it’s comforting to know that founding values will remain."

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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