Reepham-based holiday cottage business sold

Reepham-based holiday cottage business Original Cottages, which has been owned and run by the Ellis family for 30 years, has been taken over by Devon-based self-catering holiday rentals firm Travel Chapter for an undisclosed amount, it is reported.

Bank House, Market Place, Reepham. Photo: Reepham Community Press

Original Cottages owns a number of holiday let brands across the UK, including Norfolk Cottages and Suffolk Secrets.
The company, which began trading as Norfolk Country Cottages, was founded by Richard and Lesley Ellis in 1992. It is one of Reepham’s largest employers with more than 100 people working in the town out of a total of 400 employees at 36 offices around the UK across some 25 holiday brands.
It has not revealed whether Original Cottages will continue operating under its current branding or under Travel Chapter.
Having started business in the Ellis’s cottage in Whitwell Street, the company moved to Carlton House, Market Place, Reepham, in 1994, and later acquired the adjacent building and shop of Melton House.
By now known as the Original Cottage Company, it then purchased what is now Bank House, also in the Market Place, in 2014 as its head office.
A plan to relocate the Reepham office to a new building on land off Dereham Road, behind the doctors’ surgery, was proposed in 2019, but never carried through, with plans put on hold with the onset on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, private equity firm ECI Partners sold Travel Chapter to the management team.
Travel Chapter offers about 8,000 properties across the UK, and features brands such as, Canine Cottages and Cottages & Castles.
According to Travel Weekly, ECI acquired a stake in Travel Chapter in 2018, and the business has since grown, both organically and through seven acquisitions.
In June 2021, Travel Chapter made its largest acquisition to date, acquiring the Sally’s Cottages brand, which has more than 500 properties in the Lake District.
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