Durham-based, hospitality specialist, Ramside Estates, is the latest North East business to offer a financial donation to the not-for-profit, Open North Foundation.

While much of the hospitality sector has been ravaged over the last 15 months by the covid-19 pandemic, Ramside Estates has extended its support to the Foundation so as to boost some of the region’s struggling SMEs.

Ramside Estates operates a number of hotels and bars including, Ramside Hall Hotel Golf & Spa, Durham, Hardwick Hall Hotel, Sedgefield, The Impeccable Pig, Sedgefield, Bowburn Hall Hotel, Durham, The WonderBar and Colonel Porter’s Emporium, both Newcastle.

As well as a financial donation, Ramside Hall Hotel is to be made available free of charge, along with refreshments, to Open North Foundation for upcoming events.

Thanks to the generosity of individuals and a vast, diverse range of companies and organisations, Open North Foundation administers grant aid and in-kind support, such as marketing and accountancy, to small to medium sized businesses in the region who, but for the pandemic, would be financially viable and offering high quality jobs.

Established in July 2020, the not-for-profit Open North Foundation comprises of a board of directors, ambassadors and supporters, all of whom provide their services free of charge, with all money raised being distributed as grant aid to support SMEs in the North East.

John Adamson, managing director, Ramside Hall Estates, said: “It goes without saying that hospitality has been severely affected throughout the pandemic but we are an established business and have been strong enough to emerge out of the crisis and look optimistically towards the future.

“Having watched the North East community rally to assist those companies in need I, like many others, had admiration and pride for all the Foundation was achieving and wanted to offer our support. It has been a worrying time for small firms and still is, as we all continue to navigate our way back to normality.

“Ramside Estates, is now open for business and we are operating at a steady pace and we have a number of exciting developments, such as our luxury treehouse accommodation set in the grounds of Ramside Hall, Durham. We are also eagerly awaiting the return of Hardwick Hall Festival on 21 and 22 August, where we will welcome a range of headline acts such as Rag n Bone Man, Razorlight Maximo Park, Nile Rogers and Chic. Our focus is now very much on the Government’s reopening of all services.”

Richard Swart, chair of Open North Foundation, said: “We are very grateful for the generous support from Ramside Estates, as it demonstrates its commitment to helping the North East economy get back on its feet. This is a magnificent gesture, particularly from one of the leading organisations in the hospitality sector, where it has undoubtedly been a year of great turbulence and uncertainty.

“As we head further into the year, we are looking forward to hosting a range of events and we now have a fantastic venue to host these, thanks to Ramside Hall Estates.”