THE company behind Knutsford’s upcoming Court House Hotel is the first hotel group in the country to use a ‘crowdfunding’ campaign for investment.

Flat Cap Hotels, which is set to open The Court House later this year in the former Sessions House on Toft Road, launched its 60 day appeal for investment on Monday, July 25.

The group says it has already invested a ‘large amount’ of capital into the refurbishment programme, and works have begun on transforming the court building into a 550 capacity hotel however the crowdfunding campaign opens up investment for members of the public in exchange for equity and ‘special rewards’.

The company’s founder, 25-year-old Dominic Heywood, told the Guardian that the aim is to grow the Flat Cap brand- which was launched in 2015- rather than fund the works at The Court House Hotel.

“The campaign is for Flat Cap Hotels as a whole,” he said. “It’s our brand, it’s what believe in and what our ethos is. We are trying to get that to a wider audience.

“Crowdfunding gives a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved in our brand. We are looking at opening a third site at the moment. It’s very exciting times for us and we want people to be a part of that.

“The Court House is due to open before December, subject to planning – which is all going very well. So it’s onwards and upwards for Flat Cap Hotels.”

Rewards for investment, which is currently at £23,700 of the £250,000 sought, include anything from a bottle of wine and a three course meal at the ‘Barristers’ restaurant in the new hotel- which is for a £150 investment, to a full day’s hire of Court Room one, the Jury’s Room and The Moneypenny Suite, with drinks for up to 300 guests- for £35,000 of investment.

“We are looking at acquiring characteristic buildings and lovely environments that need a bit of life in them,” added Dominic. “Our current ventures, The Vicarage and the Court House- they have a similar theme. Both are in impressive buildings, both are listed.

“Crowdfunding is a unique way of doing it. Brewdog was crowdfunded. They went from having a tiny brewery to being a national chain.

“There’s lots of restaurants and hospitality businesses trying crowdfunding now, but to be the first hotel is awesome.”

In Spring 2015, the group rebranded after an extensive refurbishment period of the The Vicarage Freehouse and Rooms

Its strategy is to acquire and have five assets in operation by 2019.

To view the crowdfunding campaign visit

What do you think? Contact us at