Mike Auld has been promoted from group operations director to managing director of Bowland Inns and Hotels.

Auld has more than 20 years of hospitality management experience and has taken over the role from James Warburton, owner of the Lancashire-based hotel, pub, and restaurant operator. He had been group operations director for the business since 2020, prior to which he was hotel director at Boutique Hotel Group in Cheshire.

Warburton has stepped down following 25 years growing the business from a single-venue site – The Emporium in Clitheroe – turning over £250,000 a year, to eight sites with a £23m turnover.

Earlier this year, the company secured a £26m finance package with Barclays to support its growth plans and integrated Bowland Brewery into its portfolio.

Auld commented: “It is both a pleasure and an honour to be promoted to the role of managing director.

“Having navigated one of the most challenging 18 months for the hospitality industry, I am committed to steering the company forward as we continue to grow our brand and announce new acquisitions into the group.”