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Somerset 3D


Now a second Dragon roars into Somerset...

Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden is already a big fan of Somerset, choosing to live in the county because of its excellent transport links, entrepreneurial spirit and wonderful lifestyle.

But now a second Dragon has been lured into this dynamic county. Duncan Bannatyne, one of Deborah’s colleagues on the hit BBC show Dragons’ Den, has purchased the Charlton House Hotel and Spa in Shepton Mallet, rescuing the glorious, four-AA-red-star country house property from administration.

The Grade II listed, 26-bedroom hotel is a key part of £5million worth of investments announced by Bannatyne to develop his hotel and spa operations in the UK, which in turn is just the first stage of a total £15million investment by the Bannatyne Group in 2010/11. Although Charlton House already has a spa, Bannatyne is planning to increase the number of spa treatment rooms and set up a large fitness area within the hotel.

Bannatyne commented: “The spa business has been an area of real growth for the Group and, as a company, we firmly believe in regenerating and investing our profits back into our health clubs, spas and hotels. I am very pleased to have completed the acquisition of Charlton House as it has real potential. It fits perfectly into our hotel portfolio, particularly alongside our boutique hotel in Darlington and spa hotel in Hastings.”

Somerset is becoming such a popular destination with business people looking for a better and more cost-effective base, it now has a designated inward investment organisation, Somerset 3D, ( , which promotes Somerset as the place ‘where you and your business can grow’.

Somerset 3D CEO Rupert Cox says, “It’s great to see another Dragon in our midst! Somerset has so much to offer entrepreneurs, as it has one of the best rates of business broadband take-up in the country, as well as fast, direct rail and road networks linking Somerset to London and the Midlands in under two hours and providing fast access to the rest of the UK.

“It’s a thriving business location with a friendly and supportive business network to boot, so it’s no wonder we have one of the highest small business start-up rates of any county outside London."

Every year, 20,000 people, including many from in and around London, relocate to Somerset to enjoy its countryside, coast and clean air, short commute times and excellent education and training opportunities.