One of the region’s newest hotels is to be converted back into a private house for its owner, it has been announced.
Close House, between Wylam and Heddon-on-the-Wall in Northumberland, is a Grade-II listed former mansion house that has operated as a hotel and wedding venue since 2005.
The hotel is owned by former computing millionaire Graham Wylie, who has also developed championship golf courses on the site, with Ryder Cup golfer Lee Westwood signed up as the professional at the course.
Now Close House is to concentrate entirely on golfing, and as a result Mr Wylie is working on plans to return the mansion house to residential use for his family.
Close House director Alan Graham said: “The growth in our golf business has been spectacular, the members, our corporate partners and visitors have been incredibly supportive to Close House over recent years. We anticipate the growth of the golf business will continue as the economy continues to strengthen.
“The future of Close House Golf looks bright. It really is an exciting time for Close House Golf and we anticipate that 2014 will be the most successful to date.”
Close House dates back to the 18th century when it was built by High Sheriff of Northumberland and Member of Parliament for Winchelsea Calverley Berwicke.
From 1906 the Hall was let out to tenants but in 1960 the house and the surrounding parkland were bought by Kings College, Newcastle, a forerunner of Newcastle University, which used it for sports grounds. The university sold the site to Mr Wylie, who made a multi-million pound property with the Sage computing group, in 2004.
Close House said it will still stage the 50 weddings it has booked in for this year.
Plans have been submitted to Northumberland County Council to make the mansion house into a private residence by 2015.
Before then the venue will hold a charity golf day on May 15 as part of Mr Wylie’s ongoing fundraising for the children’s heart unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary where his daughter Kiera was treated in 2010.
Names already confirmed for the event include Lee Westwood, Alan Shearer, Ant and Dec, Les Ferdinand and Clare Balding.