Gusto appoints new Managing Director
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Gusto Restaurants has appointed Matt Snell as its new Managing Director. Matt recently joined the group as Commercial Director and will take over the reins from current MD Sue Crimes in April. Sue will move into a Non-Executive board position as part of a planned succession process.

Gusto’s Chairman, Jeremy Roberts, commented: "Matt brings a wealth of relevant experience to the role and we are very excited at his appointment. He will bring a different perspective and outlook to the business, enabling him to build on the strong foundations laid to date".

Snell commented: "Sue and the team have done a fantastic job in getting the business to where it is today, and I am both grateful and delighted to be given the opportunity to develop and expand the business even further".

Sue Crimes led a management buy-out of Gusto from Living Ventures in 2013, when the estate comprised 9 sites, in a deal backed by Palatine Private Equity. The group now operates 19 sites across the country.

Roberts added: "Sue has been with the business since its inception in 2008 and has overseen its growth since Palatine’s investment ‐ the estate has more than doubled in size under her leadership. I am delighted that she will be staying with the business to assist the transition and to continue to add her wealth of sector knowledge and specific operational nous to the board."

Sue Crimes commented: "This has been a move that we have been planning for many months and our appointment of Matt recently was the last piece of that jigsaw. I am really looking forward to taking up my new role, and am really excited to continue to be involved in a different capacity with this fantastic business."

Verdant Leisure continues investment drive with the acquisition of eighth leisure park
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Verdant Leisure has today, 2 February 2018, announced the acquisition of its eighth leisure park. Scoutscroft Holiday Centre in the Scottish Borders is the fourth holiday park purchase in the last 18 months for the bespoke leisure park operator. Scoutscroft is just one mile from Coldingham Bay Leisure Park, the site Verdant Leisure purchased in early 2017.

The purchase brings Verdant Leisure’s portfolio to eight parks across southern Scotland and North East England and marks the fourth bolt-on since the company was backed by Palatine Private Equity in April 2016. This deal will continue the company’s growth strategy to create a strong regional group with significant scale, and Verdant Leisure remains keen to add further parks to its group during 2018.

Situated in the picturesque Borders village of Coldingham, the leisure park is unrivalled in its position, within a few minutes walk from the sandy beach of Coldingham Bay.The area is a magnet for water sports enthusiasts with diving, sea kayaking and canoeing popular at the bay and nearby St. Abbs. Such outdoor pursuits and the area’s rich history make it popular with holidaymakers and holiday home owners throughout the year.

Graham Hodgson, CEO of Verdant Leisure said: "This acquisition is a perfect choice for the Verdant Leisure group in terms of the geographical location right in the heart of our existing business interests. It is an area we know well and Scoutscroft will bring a further 180 pitches to the wider group. We have further investment in the park planned and this will roll out over the next 24 months. We will also look to extend the opening period of the park to 11 months from the existing 9 and-a-half enabling our customers to enjoy more time at their holiday homes."

Ed Fazakerley, Partner at Palatine Private Equity, said: "We have been impressed by the hard work and commitment of the management team over the last 18 months. This is the fourth park acquired by Verdant since we invested in 2016 and we plan to continue growing Verdant’s portfolio of leisure parks further."

Verdant Leisure was founded in September 2010 following a management buy-in of Dunham Leisure Limited, owners of Pease Bay and Thurston Manor leisure parks in South East Scotland. Verdant went on to purchase Viewfield Manor Leisure Park in Ayrshire in July 2011 and Riverside Leisure Park in Northumberland in 2012. Kingfisher and Heather View holiday parks in Wear Valley, and Coldingham Bay were acquired as part of an ongoing buy-and-build strategy implemented by Palatine. Verdant Leisure now operates 3,000 pitches of privately owned lodges, holiday homes, holiday lettings and touring facilities.

John Charcol launches new interactive mortgage comparison tool
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John Charcol, the UK’s original independent mortgage experts have announced the integration of Twenty7Tec’s mortgage sourcing software into their online mortgage comparison tables.

The integration with Twenty7Tec provides a comprehensive, consumer facing library that is updated daily with the best deals available across the residential purchase, remortgage and buy to let markets. Clients can use the interactive tool to compare 1000s of mortgage deals based on their specific needs to provide an indication of the lenders, rates, cost and overall affordability of the products on the market.

The new tool improves the experience and usability of the John Charcol’s site while enhancing its offering in specialist markets with the launch of new tables coveringportfolio landlords and property purchases made in a limited company environment.

Luke Somerset at John Charcol commented: "Increasingly consumer behavior is driving an online digital revolution in the mortgage industry. While there’s no replacement for the ‘human touch’ and expert advice in arranging a mortgage, this digital offering enhances the proposition we’re able to offer our clients. Once our clients have sourced a deal they think is suitable our experts are able to conduct a more detailed, personalised search on their behalf and advise on the benefits of a wide range of options they should consider before signing on the dotted line."

James Tucker, Managing Director of twenty7Tech commented: "We were delighted to be selected by John Charcol as their chosen technology partner, and its been a pleasure to work with the team to help bring their vision of an interactive mortgage comparison service to life. A well-rounded proposition offering digital, telephone and face to face advice options enables advisers like John Charcol to cater for any and all potential clients, whatever their circumstances or requirements."

To use our mortgage comparison tool visit:

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