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Champany hopes for vintage year with online wine after securing banking deal

The family-owned Champany Inn in Linlithgow employs 59 people

The family-owned Champany Inn in Linlithgow employs 59 people

  • by GARETH MACKIE
 

THE Champany Inn in Linlithgow is poised to expand is presence in the online wine market this year after securing a banking deal.

Established 30 years ago by Anne and Clive Davidson, the family-owned business employs 59 people and last year unveiled plans to raise £4 million to open at least four “gastro pub” Chop & Ale houses across the central belt.

The Davidsons’ son Jason, who will oversee the expansion, said that the fundraising had been “put on the back burner” during a busy Christmas trading period and a move from Bank of Scotland to HSBC, but he remained confident that the plans will come to fruition.

He said: “It’s still on the agenda, as it’s something we very much want to do. There’s interest out there but we haven’t been able to conclude anything just yet.”

Along with the fine-dining Champany Inn and an existing Chop & Ale house, the Linlithgow site includes a wine shop and 16 bedroom suites.

Potential locations in the central belt for the chop houses include Auchterarder and Stirling.

The first step of the family’s growth plan is to expand its butchery, create a small delicatessen and drive more online sales for its wine shop.

Davidson said: “At the moment, online is a bit of a sideshow but there’s the potential to sell wine that’s been chosen by our sommelier, rather than just picking it out of a catalogue, and selling it at very good prices.”

The firm enjoyed a strong trading performance during the key festive season and Davidson said HSBC was fully behind the family’s ambitions.

He added: “We saw more potential for the future with HSBC, who are very supportive of our plans. It’s a change for the long term.”

 

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