Robin Hutson: how the Pig is boosting rural economies

13 February 2020 by
Robin Hutson: how the Pig is boosting rural economies

The opening of a Pig hotel can boost a rural economy by hundreds of thousands of pounds, according to the founder of the brand Robin Hutson.

Hutson, chairman of Home Grown Hotels, owner and operator of the Pig, spoke to The Caterer just after booking opened for the latest edition to the litter, the Pig at Harlyn Bay near Padstow, Cornwall. Some 1,000 room nights were sold within three hours at the 30-bedroom hotel, which is due to open on 28 April.

He explained that the huge support for the brand stemmed from the creation of "the right kind of product, at the right price at the right time," and added: "In a world that has more shallow brands than you can shake a stick at, our guests recognise the genuine spirit, heart and soul behind the Pig."

A major positive knock on impact of the Pig is the valuable contribution each hotel has created for the rural economies in which each hotel sits. Hutson said that rural hospitality can fill the gap created by the demise of many traditional industries in the countryside.

"In Cornwall, we are creating around 100 new permanent jobs in an area that traditionally has seen a high percentage of seasonal jobs. But it's the local suppliers of services and goods that are the unseen and unmentioned beneficiaries.

"Our commitment to a 25-mile menu will see several hundred thousand pounds injected into the independent food and beverage producers in the area, our payroll of £2m will end up largely being spent locally, in rent, food, entertainment, transport etc. Our window cleaner, laundry service, refuse collection, utilities will all feel the benefit. Then of course, our guests who will spend more again in local shops, pubs, restaurants, taxis, surf schools and other attractions.

The Pig at Harlyn Bay will become the seventh hotel in the collection, joining properties in Brockenhurst, Hampshire; Southampton; Bath; Studland, Dorset; near Honiton, Devon; and Bridge, Kent. An eighth Pig will open near Arundel, West Sussex, near year.

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