Saturday, March 25, 2023

Lincolnshire cattery reaches for the stars with new ownership

An animal-loving couple with 25 years’ pet industry experience gained in both the UK and USA, have bought Axholme Cattery at Crowle in Lincolnshire.

The well-established cattery, which sits on a site of 1.1 acres and includes living accommodation, is licensed for 40 cats and had an annual turnover of £52,000 under previous owners Jeanette and Gary Abraham who ran the business from 2016 and have now retired. Axholme Cattery has been sold by commercial property estate agent Ernest Wilson to pet industry veterans, Jeremy and Diane Mitchell.

Originally from Cumbria and the North East respectively, the couple have been living in West Sussex for the last 10 years, running a small kennel and cattery and a pet travel business, after a decade in Florida running pet shops and dog grooming salons.

“Axholme Cattery has a great reputation and we’re thrilled to have found the perfect home and business which will allow us to move back up north and continue our passion for pets,“ said Mr Mitchell.

“Our new business is called Walkers and Sitters and the cattery is very much at the heart of this. As well as looking after cats, we will be adding dog walking and dog behaviour consultations to the services on offer. Our aim is to take the cattery from a three-star licence to five-stars within our first year, making it even more of a ‘des-res’ for felines. We’re delighted that our dream of moving our pet business back to the north has become a reality.”

Paul Williamson, Managing Director of Ernest Wilson, said: “Catteries and kennels are a sector where we’ve completed a number of successful sales in recent months and we’re really pleased to have now sold Axholme Cattery, securing new owners with vast experience who have found their perfect lifestyle business some 230 miles from where they live now. It just shows, if you know where you want to be and what you want to do, then buying a business is a great option and, with national reach, we can facilitate that.”

Although the sale of the cattery to Jeremy and Diane Mitchell was straightforward, with their offer accepted only a month and one day from Ernest Wilson’s instruction, there was a challenge to overcome before the cattery went on the market.

Kate Wood, planning director at Eddisons, which is part of the same group as Ernest Wilson, said: “In the early stages of discussions with the cattery owners, Ernest Wilson discovered that a planning condition meant that only the existing owner was lawfully able to live in the property and run the cattery rather than any new owner.

“This represented a huge barrier to the sale, but thankfully, given the relationship between the two companies, the Eddisons planning team became involved and successfully applied for this condition to be lifted thus enabling occupation of the accommodation by anyone employed in the cattery business, thereby clearing the way for a successful sale.”

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