Penrith resident achieves lifelong dream of opening guest house

by Anna Startin

Former supermarket deputy manager, Sue Grundy, has turned her dream into a reality, after purchasing a five-star guesthouse in Penrith, only months after being involved in a serious road accident.

The inspirational businesswoman had always dreamed of opening her own business, and after being awarded a sizeable amount in compensation, she worked with the team at The Cumberland Building Society to land her dream operation in Brooklands Guest House.

The keen cyclist, who is 55, has since made a full recovery after the incident which caused her to suffer from a brain haemorrhage, a broken wrist, and a broken elbow.

She said: “Whilst the accident was a truly unpleasant experience, it gave me the opportunity to reevaluate what it is that I want to do with my life. I have been grafting my whole life but never seemed to reap the benefits of my hard work. I knew that I wanted to own my own business one day, but I was unsure of how to take the first steps.

“After the accident, I started to look at the different B&Bs that were for sale in the area, and I stumbled across Brooklands. It’s the only five-star property in the area so I knew then that I had to have it, and with the help of The Cumberland I was able to make that happen.”

Brooklands Guest House is located five miles from Lake Ullswater and 10 miles from the North Pennines, making it an attractive destination for travellers seeking natural beauty and adventure.

Despite her accident, Sue continues to encourage visitors to explore the area by bike, continuing Brooklands’ longstanding relationship with Cycleactive, a cycling centre based at Brougham Hall in Penrith, as well as outdoor bike storage.

Sue added: “Being a cyclist, I know our guests value the bicycle storage space in the property’s self-contained courtyard, as it saves their apologies when trailing muddy bikes through indoor spaces and past non-cycling guests. In time, I am also keen to implement my own guided cycling tours of the area for guests and locals, including packed lunches from the guest house kitchen.

“I’ve been really enthused by the support from the local community. Everyone is saying ‘well done’ and ‘good luck’ which feels great. I’ve gone from being flat on my face in the middle of the road to owning my own five-star bed & breakfast!”

As well as encouragement and guidance from the local community and the previous owners of Brooklands, Sue will also continue to receive support from her Relationship Manager at The Cumberland, Tina Crookston, who was instrumental in securing the deal for her purchase.

Tina Crookston, Business Relationship Manager at The Cumberland Building Society, said “The most rewarding part of my job is helping people to achieve their dreams, and I’m so pleased that we were able to help male that a reality for Sue.

“A big part of The Cumberland’s lending process is getting to know the people behind the application. As well as considering the initial application we consider factors which might impact our customers in the future too. That means customers, like Sue, can feel reassured about their outlook.

“With Sue, we had absolutely no hesitation about her prospects. She has continued to demonstrate her passion and willingness to learn all about a new industry, which will stand her in great stead for the future.”

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