THE new owner of the Green Man Royal Hotel has stepped forward from the shadows and revealed his identity, putting to an end weeks of speculation.
Ashbourne-based entrepreneur Colin Wright, who is best known as the owner of ladies designer fashion store Young Ideas, bought the iconic St John Street property following a second failed attempt to sell it at auction.
Mr Wright, whose business interests range from mobile telecommunications, to the food industry, was born in Derbyshire and says buying the Green Man will be a departure from his other property interests, which have been commercial manufacturing operations.
He said: “The Green Man is a project of local interest and was driven partly from the frustration of seeing the property empty and neglected for several months.
“It is my intention to find a solution for the building that compliments the market town and provides a sensible and fitting commercial solution to a failed hotel and leisure operation.”
Mr Wright says he will soon be working with arhcitects to draw up designs, which he has promised to share with News Telegraph readers to guage local opinion on his ideas.
He has also moved to assure Ashburnians that he fully appreciates the venue’s long association with Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide and hinted that he intends to speak to the Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Committee about how the game can be involved with his plans.
During this year’s game, the Green Man’s car park was used to host a beer ‘tipi’ and fast food operation run by local businesses and local contractors, he says, have been and will be employed to help with the property’s forthcoming renaissance.
In its heyday, the Green Man has been one of Ashbourne’s busiest town centre night spots, attracting generations of revellers with a trhiving disco, two main bars, a boxing venue and hotel rooms.