Some people have dreams of forts and castles. Mike Clare doesn’t. He owns them.
In fact, Mike Clare owns luxurious properties ranging from historic country manors to Scottish castles, a Benedictine Abbey, a chateau in Anglesey and three Victorian sea forts in the Solent, not forgetting several executive homes and commercial premises in his native Buckinghamshire.
His entrepreneurial exploits with Dreams brought him fame and fortune – and, having sold up, ample spare time. Clare doesn’t do spare time. “I read autobiographies, enjoy walking, but who wants to just sit on a beach?”
Always interested in visiting old, intriguing and unusual, millionaire Clare turned this pastime into a rewarding pastime by buying some of the “wacky” properties he visited.
He set up Clarenco as a business group to commercialise his ‘hobby,’ and established five property divisions.
Today, Clare’s collection of unique properties are let out commercially to companies or as executive accommodation. The most high profile of his properties in the “AmaZing Venues” division are run as luxury hotels, providing exciting locations for weddings, celebrations, themed events and corporate retreats. Dream venues, you might say.
“Letting out the commercial property is actually a better investment, but it’s not so exciting, not so hands-on. Renovating these lovely old properties for people to enjoy, you feel more like an entrepreneur, and they’re all now running as exciting and profitable businesses.”
Clare also has various associated businesses covering other investment and charitable interests, notably The Clare Foundation and the Clare Business School, the latter being an entrepreneurial partnership bringing ‘real live business’ experience to Bucks New University students. (In 2009, Mike Clare was awarded an