OakNorth completes loan to entrepreneurs behind the Bel & The Dragon group


OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed a debt finance deal worth £5.3m to Longshot Country Inns, the seven-strong restaurant and rooms group with sites across Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire, located in Cookham, Churt, Godalming, Kingsclere, Odiham, Reading and Windsor – all branded under the name Bel & The Dragon.

Longshot Country Inns (LCI) purchased the original four Bel & The Dragon sites in 2010. Between 2014 and 2016, the LCI team acquired and refurbished three additional country inns, taking the group to seven sites which collectively have 47 bedrooms for accommodation, but which they hope to increase to 61 with the finance from OakNorth.

Commenting on the deal, Joel Cadbury, Chairman and co-founder of Longshot, said:

“Whether joining us for lunch, tea, dinner, or even spending the night, we aim to make our guests feel at home, so are delighted to have secured this loan which will enable us to accommodate even more visitors.

“We have obviously dealt with quite a few banks in the past and can safely say that this experience was like no other – the team at OakNorth were incredibly entrepreneurial, willing to think outside of the box and burn the midnight oil to get the deal done!”

Deepesh Thakrar, Debt Finance Director at OakNorth Bank, commented:

“Joel Cadbury and Ollie Vigors are born entrepreneurs with an exciting and diverse track record of starting, scaling and exiting numerous successful and unique businesses. Along with Hector Ross, COO of Longshot Country Inns, they have built an incredibly strong portfolio and we look forward to working with the team on more deals in the future.”