It's an Allen 'family affair' at Magheramorne

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

A BALLYMENA family have given an East Antrim mansion a whole new lease of life!

Broughshane-based Jane's Kitchen has taken on the Magheramorne Estate outside Larne and created 30 jobs with the support of Magell Limited.

Jane Allen, the founder of the family firm took on the property with the aim of creating a luxury wedding and corporate event venue with accommodation for 76 guests.

The Co Antrim property was designed by Samuel P Close, dates back to 1881 and was built by Sir James Hogg to mark his peerage. In the 1930s, it was bought by Major Harold Robinson, who renovated the building and worked on its gardens.

The mansion became a privately owned hotel in the 1970s and for a time served as the Irish headquarters of Forever Living Products, an international company manufacturing and marketing aloe vera drinks, dietary supplements and more.

The jobs created are in the kitchens, gardens and the finance and events teams.

Mrs Allen said she was looking forward to the next chapter for the estate, which overlooks Larne Lough and which she opened in August last year.

“We received the keys to Magheramorne Estate in March 2020, the week that the UK went into lockdown, and could never have imagined the challenges that would lie in the months ahead,” she added.

“This past year has been incredibly tough for our industry, for couples and for event planners, either having to postpone or cancel weddings and major corporate events.

“My family and I have been working in events and catering for more than 30 years.

“We wanted to use our expertise to build on what Northern Ireland already has to offer in hospitality and provide a beautiful estate that is not only a stunning setting for a wedding but that also offers private luxury accommodation.

“Our goal is to build on our reputation for providing a premium service and present that on a new stage.”

The function rooms at Magheramorne include the Blenheim Suite, with capacity for 180 guests, and the McGarel Suite, a boardroom for up to 12 people.

There is also a former stable block which has been converted to a self-contained apartment and 18 bedroom suites.

Jane's Kitchen, which was founded in 1988, now employs more than 100 people.

Mrs Allen's husband, David, is the director of the company and all their children play a role in the business.

Daughter Katherine is wedding and events co-ordinator. Her sister Sara, who trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School, is the food and beverages manager. Her brother James, meanwhile, is the operations manager.

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