Ponderosa up for sale

Ponderosa rare breeds visitor centre and Lakeside restaurant has gone up for sale.

By Lauren Ballinger
Monday, 7th April 2014, 11:36 am
NEW BEGINNINGS HOward Cook with some of the people with special needs Ponderosa works with. (d620a413)
NEW BEGINNINGS HOward Cook with some of the people with special needs Ponderosa works with. (d620a413)

The farm and restaurant went on the market on Tuesday for £1.3m with agents CBRE and Michael Steel and Co.

Owner Howard Cook said he was selling the business so he could concentrate on expanding existing facilities for people with special needs and opening it out for people with mental health problems and elderly care.

He said they would be sold as going concerns and the

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animals and staff jobs would be safe. He said: “We are going back to what we do best, which is working with people with learning difficulties. It is what we started with. We look after more than 70 people and we want to move forward with it.

“My sons have taken over my building business but they don’t want to carry on with the visitor centre and restaurant. I am 70 now and I have had cancer.

“The past six months have been a life check.

“All our existing bookings will be honoured and the business will operate at usual until a sale has been agreed. The attraction has such a huge and dedicated customer following and we are confident that it will

further flourish under new ownership.

“By refinancing we can go on with what we want to do.”

Mr Cook said he had divided the Ponderosa site in two, with the part containing the rare breeds farm and restaurant going up for sale, and the other being developed into an outdoor resource area open to the public as well as the people with learning difficulties he wanted to support.

Plans for an 80-bed care home for people with dementia have also been submitted to Kirklees Council.

Alec Michael, partner at Michael Steel and Co, said: “It isn’t often that an exciting site such as this comes to market and we anticipate keen interest from a host of parties who will inevitably recognise the significant potential for business growth.

“Ponderosa is well known within the region and further afield and its strong reputation could be built upon by a new owner.”