AN executive with the group that recently sold Upton's Star Hotel has quit her job and joined forces with the friends that snapped it up.

Until mid-November, Maxine Nicholson worked as a sales executive for Fownes, the Worcester-based hotel group which owned the Lower High Street property. Her brief was to promote the Star Hotel, now re-named the Star Inn.

But when her old friends Rick Price and Carol Hobden bought the property, she could not resist the challenge of joining them to try and make a success of the hotel.

"We have known about the potential of the Upton hotel trade for a long time," she said.

"You have all the businesses needing accommodation and then there are all the festivals and other events nearby, as well as the normal tourist trade."

The 17th Century coaching inn, which was devastated by floods a year ago, still needs a lot of renovation work. Listed building consent will also be needed before the new name sign can be put up.

But the first fruits of the new owners' labours will be on show on Saturday, when the hotel plays host to its first wedding reception.