Future uncertain for iconic thatched inn

Uncertain future: The Hoops Inn and Country Hotel at Horns Cross, near Bideford.

Uncertain future: The Hoops Inn and Country Hotel at Horns Cross, near Bideford. - Credit: Archant

Historic pub goes into administration following CVA failure.

THE future of one of North Devon’s most iconic pubs is in doubt this week.

The 13th century Hoops Inn and Country Hotel at Horns Cross, near Bideford, has gone into administration.

Administrators from financial advisory and investment banking firm Duff & Phelps said the parent company, Madiran Limited, entered into a creditors’ voluntary arrangement (CVA) in April last year but continued to experience difficult trading and was unable to secure further financial support from lender Santander.

They also said the Grade Two-listed thatched inn had needed a ‘significant cash injection’ to meet its financial obligations and went into administration on January 21.


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The business will continue to trade while a buyer is sought.

Stephen Clancy, of Duff & Phelps, said: “We are currently undertaking an extensive strategic and operational review of the company, during which we will continue to trade the business in the short term before a proposed marketing campaign is commenced later in the year.

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“We have also engaged hotel specialists, Convivial, to assist in trading matters.”

The Gazette understands that half of the staff had been made redundant and that the business continues to run with a reduced menu.

No-one at the Hoops was able to comment further although hotel manager Simon Ainsworth would confirm that the business was still open and trading as normal.

The Gazette was unable to contact Madiran directors Gerry and Wendy Goodwin for comment.

The historic inn, said to be once the haunt of smugglers and a meeting place for seafarers such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh, was renovated in 2009 after almost being destroyed by fire in March that year. At the time, up to 100 firefighters fought the blaze, which destroyed half of the roof and two of its 13 bedrooms.

Meanwhile this week, the Wrey Arms pub in Barnstaple has closed its doors due to a lack of trade. Click on the link at the top right of this page to read more.

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