Soft furnishings retailer snapped up by Blackpool Tower owner
Quilt cover and curtains retailer Ponden Mill has been sold to Marston Mills, a company owned by the leisure entrepreneur that owns the Blackpool Tower.

Ponden Mill, which has 132 stores, was founded 37 years ago on a market stall in Skipton, North Yorkshire. Buyer Marston Mills is owned by Trevor Hemmings, who is estimated to be worth£700 million. He is also the man behind plans to turn Blackpool into the UK's Las Vegas. The Hemmings family also owns wallpaper concession business Coloroll and soft furnishings concession business Wilman Interiors.

Newly appointed Ponden Mill managing director David Williams said: 'Our intention is to continue to develop the Ponden Mill brand and to invest, in order to increase market share and profitability.'

Ponden Mill bosses and founder Barry Brookfield were advised on the deal by law firm Pinsent Masons.

Sales at Ponden Mill for the year to March 2003 were£50 million, while operating profits were£1.2 million.

Ponden Mill's headquarters are to remain in Keighley, West Yorkshire.