It's four years since we last caught up with Imran Khaliq...Director of the Gainford Group which is one of the biggest investors in the North East, particularly the Newcastle Quayside area.
The company has steadily built an impressive portfolio of hotels, nightclubs and bars. They’re also a major player in the healthcare industry being one of the largest healthcare providers in the region.
The article in 2018 ended…’The Gainford Group is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.’
How true…because the company is going from strength to strength, and as well as continuously developing their current venues, they are also planning for the future. The current workforce of over 2500 will rapidly expand.
Imran is one of those people who never seems to stop working… although he admits that it’s largely due to way he was brought up. Both of his parents worked long hours to build Gainford Group and it’s plainly rubbed off.
”We are a business that never closes and I have to admit that I find it difficult to switch off. We have created a growth culture and our business model is one of wanting to aspire. We don’t want to compete…we want to be different…and we continually look at how we can improve various aspects of the business. It’s non-stop and visitors who are returning to any of our venues will see that a lot of refurbishment and alterations have taken place.”
The last twelve years has seen a rapid development across the Gainford Group.
It all began when they bought what is the jewel in the Gainford Group crown, The Vermont Hotel in the centre of Newcastle. It is a landmark building which is now one of the leading places to stay in the whole of the UK. The rooftop area of the hotel is home to ‘Above’ which is a bar and restaurant offering panoramic views of Newcastle. Both the hotel and ‘Above’ underwent extensive refurbishment during COVID and now ooze luxury and are the go-to place for celebrities visiting the city. It is also an ideal wedding venue. With a fantastic backdrop looking across the city towards the Tyne Bridge, any photos are truly stunning.
Gainford Group has recently acquired the Moot Hall which is situated directly opposite The Vermont Hotel. The former Newcastle Crown Court will be used for weddings, conferences and seminars.
The company is also the owner of many of Newcastle’s leading bars, nightclubs and restaurants. They have properties in other parts of the country too.
Livello, (www.barlivello.co.uk) situated at the lower end of Dean Street, is rated as Newcastle’s leading bar and late night venue. It has just seen the completion of a £1.2m makeover.
Drop down onto the Quayside and you’ll find Aveika (www. aveika.co.uk) which is a super-stylish Japanese restaurant and bar. There’s nothing like it in Newcastle. Next door is Atomic Blonde, a private members cocktail bar which is restricted to over 25s who are either members or guests staying at The Vermont Aparthotel.
Elsewhere in the company’s portfolio there are over a dozen care and residential homes across the region offering in excess of 800 beds specialising in offering short and long term facilities to both the elderly and to those with more complex health issues.
There is also a pair of nurseries in Birtley and Chester le Street offering high quality childcare to children under five years old, with before and after school care for children aged five to11. In other words, to say that the Gainford Group development in recently years is hugely impressive, is a massive understatement. And it doesn’t stop there.
”We’re always looking for new and exciting opportunities,” adds Imran. ”In the pipeline we have plans for a 37 storey skyscraper which will be called Gainford Tower. It will be a £50m multi-purpose building in New Bridge Street which will form a stunning gateway to Newcastle’s city centre. The Tower will include a 5-star hotel, private apartments, a selection of bars and restaurants, plus a fitness and health club. We’re also opening a super-stylish urban rooftop bar called ‘Crescendo.’ It’s based on The Side which is just around the corner from our Livello nightclub. As I said at the start of this article…we don’t want to compete… we want to inspire people and aspire to be the best of the best in Newcastle, the North East and beyond.”
These are hugely exciting times for Imran and the Gainford Group.
With Imran leading from the front, Newcastle can look forward to being an even greater city than it already is. He’s proud to call himself a Geordie…and it shows.