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Historic hotel is bought by budget chain

Clifton Hotel General Manager Julie Bellwood, third left, and Royal Hotel Deputy General Manager Craig Bridgewood, third right, celebrate the hotel sales with Britannia Hotels Cluster General Manager Simon Powell, centre, and members of hotel staff.
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Clifton Hotel General Manager Julie Bellwood, third left, and Royal Hotel Deputy General Manager Craig Bridgewood, third right, celebrate the hotel sales with Britannia Hotels Cluster General Manager Simon Powell, centre, and members of hotel staff. 121210a

MORE than 70 Scarborough hotel workers are celebrating job security for the first time in more than six months.

The purchase of the Royal and Clifton hotels by Britannia triples the presence of the budget chain in the town because it already owns the 365-room Grand Hotel.

Eileen Downey, operations director of Britannia Hotels, was at The Royal, in St Nicholas Street, yesterday to oversee the takeover from administrators, who have been running the businesses since August 2011.

She said: “We are very proud and pleased to have purchased the Royal and the Clifton.

“We look forward to working closely with the staff and the development in terms of taking these two hotels forward.

“We are also very pleased to have increased our portfolio in Scarborough.”

Britannia, which owns 37 hotels including the Norbreck in Blackpool and the Adelphi in Liverpool, is now operating a total of 553 rooms in Scarborough. For the past 12 years The Royal, along with The Clifton, had been owned by English Rose, which fell into administration under the rule of the Turner family. They also owned The Wrea Head Hotel and the Hackness Grange which are still being operated by administrators while they seek a buyer.

A deal is currently being discussed surrounding the sale of the Wrea Head, while interested parties are in talks with administrators about the Hackness Grange.

Janet Deacon, area director for Welcome to Yorkshire said: “We are delighted to hear that the hotels have been purchased, not only is it good news in terms of safeguarding these historic building and accommodation bedspaces but also highlights the confidence in the tourism sector in Scarborough.”

Richard Frank, managing director of Scarborough’s Crown Spa Hotel in the Esplanade, said the hotels’ new owners now have a “mammoth task” restoring the properties to their full potential.

He said: “Britannia Hotels presently are specialising in purchasing distressed hotels in England.

“They have the canny ability to absorb these properties into their portfolio and offer them via their various sales channels to their particular specialised markets.

“I am sure the ex-English Rose Hotel staff will be pleased that their jobs are secure in these days of austerity.

“However they face a mammoth task in restoring these hotels to their former glory, as we have found as we restored the Crown spa Hotel over the last 12 years.

“We wish them every success.”

The Royal, which opened 190 years ago, was bought by Ambassador (East Cliff), while the Clifton was purchased by Britannia Hotel Wolverhampton Limited.

Both companies are subsidiaries of Britannia Hotels, it was revealed yesterday.

 

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