Anglian Country Inns has brought in investors from outside the Nye family for the first time as it acquires its eighth site.

The group has acquired the Redcoats Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant between Hitchin and Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

The site is set to re-open in July after a refurbishment.

The project has been set up as a special purpose vehicle managed by ACI with capital raised from a combination of loan notes and equity from private individuals and senior debt provided by Downing LLP.

Operations director Howard Nye said: “This exciting acquisition will be a two-year ongoing development project for ACI. We will be keeping the quirky and the nostalgic feel but it’s a great opportunity to restore the Farmhouse at Redcoats to its natural charm. The project will ultimately include the conversion of two Grade II-listed barns into further bedrooms and a 120-cover wedding venue. After the initial refurbishment, our main focus is to establish the farm-to-table restaurant using natural ingredients grown in our own garden or sourced direct from farms nearby.

“We are very lucky to have Sherwin Jacobs heading up the kitchen who I have worked with in South Africa and who has grown with us at ACI over the past 10 years. He is an extraordinarily creative chef and is extremely excited to be involved with the project and shaping the vision for the food at the Farmhouse.”

James Nye, group managing director, added: “We are very excited to be writing the next chapter for the Farmhouse at Redcoats. It is a building and a business we have known for a long time, both personally and professionally, and we have had a great friendship with Peter and Jackie (previous owners) for many years. There is great opportunity with the Farmhouse at Redcoats and we intend to keep it as a ‘way of life’ as it always has been. It has also been great to work with Downing on the project who have been very helpful and flexible.”

ACI also operates the White Horse, Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk; the Jolly Sailors, Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk; the Cricketers, Weston, Hertfordshire; the Fox, Willian, Hertfordshire; Hermitage Rd bar & restaurant, Hitchin, Hertfordshire; Water Lane bar & restaurant, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire; and the King’s Head, Letheringsett.