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Inward investors celebrate Somerset Business Awards success

Posted: 27/10/11

Two of Somerset’s newest inward investors are celebrating after winning the New to Somerset Award at this year’s prestigious Somerset Business Awards. Langford Fivehead, a stunning Grade II medieval manor house in the heart of the Somerset Levels, was presented with the award in front of around 300 people from the county’s top businesses at the sell-out awards ceremony on Friday 21 October.

Businessmen Orlando Murrin and Peter Steggall opened Langford Fivehead on 1 March this year. They have already attracted a wealth of attention from national and international press, raising the profile and reputation of Somerset and the Levels, as well as bringing a new set of affluent visitors into the area.

Their aim is to make the property the most exciting boutique destination in South West England for country house weekends and celebrations. They operate to the highest international hospitality standards, with menus based on the finest seasonal ingredients from local farms and producers and from their own garden.

Orlando Murrin commented, “To a small team like ours, winning this award is enormously motivating. Much of our work involves tiny invisible details that don't necessarily get noticed by guests, but make the property look and feel impeccable: this award gives official recognition to all that hard work behind the scenes. We sent an email to all our guests the morning after we won the award and dozens and dozens of congratulations have been flooding in.”

Orlando and Peter viewed 183 properties in six different countries before settling on Somerset because of its communications, artisanal food tradition and tourist attractions. At Langford Fivehead they saw an opportunity to provide top-end gastronomic short breaks, accessible from London and the North, in the relatively undiscovered Somerset Levels. They now provide direct employment for seven local people and contribute to the Somerset economy by purchasing locally whenever possible. The business also maintains and protects one of Somerset’s important and fascinating historical properties.

Judge Sandra Wilson of Ylem Ltd commented, “Visiting Peter and Orlando at Langford Fivehead was a real tonic. Offering the highest standards and friendly welcome in a most relaxing atmosphere, this exceptional establishment is a delightful new venture in Somerset and I look forward to my next visit.”

Somerset 3D assisted the business in identifying local suppliers, including a wide range of food and drink producers, as well as helping with the planning application.

Orlando commented, “We were introduced to Somerset 3D soon after arriving in the West Country and were immediately impressed by its businesslike approach, coupled with a friendly, welcoming and informal style. The organisation was a major factor in why we chose to set up in Somerset, and has since proved an invaluable source of contacts and expertise on every imaginable subject.”

Inward Investment Manager for Somerset 3D, Gerard Tucker, commented, “In less than one year, Orlando and Peter have achieved so much with Langford Fivehead. Having set out to develop quality accommodation for visitors to Somerset, they have achieved this and so much more. Their attention to detail extends beyond the accommodation provided. Goods and services, together with food and drink are selected locally wherever possible. Their business planning and monitoring is to be commended, as is their marketing strategy. Langford Fivehead is a worthy winner of the New to Somerset class at the Somerset Business Awards, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to learn more about this outstanding business.”

Since its creation only three years ago, Somerset 3D has helped over 40 businesses move to or set up in Somerset, creating around 700 new jobs.

Somerset has the highest business start-up rate of any county outside London. Located in the heart of the South West, it is extremely well-connected thanks to its excellent road and rail links, with London only two hours away and a choice of international airports on the doorstep. A recent multi-million pound government investment in Somerset’s superfast broadband connection will ensure that businesses within the county can become even more competitive, adding to its already impressive £9billion economy.

Somerset 3D offers a tailored business relocation service, giving advice and information to facilitate the process. To find out more about the many varied opportunities that Somerset can offer, or for advice and guidance on setting up a business in Somerset call on 0845 1222 066 or visit www.somerset3d.co.uk.