Flat Cap Hotels, the family-run pub and hotel group, is to expand after securing financial backing through private investment.

Overall, the group is aiming to have five properties in operation by 2019, including the two already confirmed, and the third, which is already in the pipeline. All properties are likely to be in and around the Cheshire area and what the company calls ‘the north of England’.

The news comes following the company’s acquisition of the former Knutsford Crown Court building earlier this year. This 17th century property is currently undergoing a complete refurbishment to become The Courthouse: a 150-cover restaurant and bar with a 550-capacity events space, under executive chef Steven Tuke.

Phase two of this build will then see the construction of 60 bedrooms.

Founded in 2015 by brothers Oliver and Dominic Heywood, Flat Cap Hotels’ first property was The Vicarage Freehouse & Rooms in Cheshire.

This Grade-II listed, 17th century country pub and hotel originally opened with 20 bedrooms and a 150-cover restaurant and bar, plus a library and a games room. Each of the boutique bedrooms has facilities such as a rainmaker shower, seasonal breakfast, eco tap water, and free Wi-Fi included.

There are now plans to open six new ‘deluxe suites’ before the end of the year.

The expansion push will seek to create 60 new job vacancies, with an emphasis on taking local apprentices and graduates from local schools and colleges.

Commenting on the plans, Oliver Heywood said: “Dominic and I are overwhelmed by the support we’ve received in our first year at The Vicarage, and thrilled by the opportunities this investment opens up to Flat Cap Hotels.”