Doncaster business latest kennel and cattery sector sale for Ernest Wilson

Jeremy and Diane Mitchell

A couple with 25 years’ pet industry experience gained in both the UK and US, have bought Axholme Cattery at Crowle, near Doncaster.

The well-established business, which sits on a site of 1.1 acres and includes living accommodation, is licensed for 40 cats and had a £52,000 turnover of under previous owners Jeanette and Gary Abraham who ran the business from 2016. Axholme Cattery has been sold by Leeds-based commercial property estate agent Ernest Wilson to Jeremy and Diane Mitchell who are relocating from West Sussex to run the business.

“Axholme Cattery has a great reputation and we’re thrilled to have found the perfect home and business which will allow us to move back up north and continue our passion for pets,“ said Mr Mitchell.

“Our new business is called Walkers and Sitters and the cattery is very much at the heart of this. As well as looking after cats, we will be adding dog walking and dog behaviour consultations to the services on offer. Our aim is to take the cattery from a three-star licence to five-stars within our first year.”

Paul Williamson, managing director of Ernest Wilson, said: “Catteries and kennels are a sector where we’ve completed a number of successful sales in recent months and we’re really pleased to have now sold Axholme Cattery, securing experienced new owners who have found their perfect lifestyle business some 230 miles from where they live now. It shows that if you know where you want to be and what you want to do, then buying a business is a great option and, with national reach, we can facilitate that.”

Although the sale of the cattery was straightforward, there was a planning challenge to overcome before the cattery went on the market. Kate Wood, planning director at Eddisons, which is part of the same group as Ernest Wilson, said: “In the early stages of discussions with the cattery owners, Ernest Wilson discovered that a planning condition meant that only the existing owner was lawfully able to live in the property and run the cattery rather than any new owner.

“This represented a huge barrier to the sale, but thankfully, given the relationship between the two companies, the Eddisons planning team became involved and successfully applied for this condition to be lifted, enabling occupation of the accommodation by anyone employed in the cattery business, and clearing the way for a successful sale.”

Ernest Wilson was founded in 1956 and specialises in buying and selling hundreds of small businesses every year, from fish and chip shops to convenience stores and hotels. It has sold businesses worth more than £22m of since 2020.

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