Tadcaster-based Town and Village Hotels, run by Edward Walsh, is to develop the company away from its wholly leased/tenanted model to become primarily a managed operation. As a first step, one of the four existing units, the historic, 18-bedroomed White Rose Hotel, just off the A1 in North Yorkshire, at Leeming Bar, has been converted to a managed hotel. The decision follows a comprehensive review of operations undertaken since Walsh, 25, took over running the company and its parent the Commer Group last autumn from his father – the well-known hospitality-trade veteran, Jim Walsh. Edward, a former investment banker with Citigroup, has selected the fledgling hotels business for his first major initiative. Set up as a group of character hotels, all the units are historic buildings or old coaching inns. “We are continuing to be fully supportive of our leasehold operations,” said Edward “but as we grow the business through acquisition, any new sites we take on are more likely become part of an expanding managed portfolio. “We have the capitalisation and the infrastructure to pursue this new policy comfortably, and I believe it will ultimately prove a more profitable strategy for the business.” The other three units currently in the Town and Village Hotels portfolio are all historic landmarks in their localities – in North Yorkshire they are the George at Piercebridge, and the Bridge House at Catterick Bridge, while in Cheshire the company owns the Lion and Swan at Congleton.