Small Business of the Year/Business in the Community entrant – The Old Hall Country House
Simon and Gary White’s home is not only their business it’s also a hub of the community and a regular venue for charity events.
The couple, who are both Newcastle-under-Lyme borough councillors, bought The Old Hall Country House in Madeley in 2007.
They substantially but sympathetically renovated both the interior and exterior of the 16th Century building before deciding to open it as a luxury bed and breakfast. They later expanded their offering to add a boutique wedding business.
“The business is also our home and we are both borough councillors and treat our home as the heart of everything we do,” said Simon, who is currently Mayor Elect for Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Simon and Gary regularly host open garden and house charity events and allow the local community to use the grounds and gardens for their own fundraising. More than £10,000 has been raised during the last five years for charities including The Dougie Mac, MacMillan and The Tri Service and Veteran Support Centre. Simon and Gary have an annual fundraising event and have also supported their local GP practice’s fund a number of times.
They held a charity ball at Keele Hall in October 2022 in aid of The Academy for Theatre Arts in Bradwell which raised £16,000.
The business has grown over the years and has welcomed many famous people through its doors including Mel C from The Spice Girls when she was performing at Keele University Students Union, Theo Paphitis from Dragons’ Den and the actress Sherrie Hewson. Guests have also included the Chinese Ambassador and the cast of Most Haunted, who took over the venue while filming locally.
The Old Hall Country House has entered the Staffordshire University Business Awards in the Business in the Community and the Small Business of the Year categories.