Spa at ‘large hotel of the year’ to create jobs

Michael Bannister, Chairman of The Coniston Hotel & Country Estate,  with Steve Riley, Barnfield Construction, Architect John Wharton, Andy Davidson, Yorkshire Bank's Head of Buisness Banking, and Graham Cairns, Yorkshire Bank Commercial Relations Manager.
Michael Bannister, Chairman of The Coniston Hotel & Country Estate, with Steve Riley, Barnfield Construction, Architect John Wharton, Andy Davidson, Yorkshire Bank's Head of Buisness Banking, and Graham Cairns, Yorkshire Bank Commercial Relations Manager.
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A hotel in North Yorkshire hopes to create an additional 50 jobs, once its spa development has been completed.

The Coniston Hotel, which was voted ‘Large Hotel of the Year’ by Welcome to Yorkshire in the White Rose awards last year, has broken new ground with the 16,500ft development. The spa will sit adjacent to the hotel.

Michael Bannister, chairman of The Coniston Hotel and Country Estate told The Yorkshire Post: “When we first bought the estate there was one person employed.”

Now approximately 100 members of staff are employed at the hotel in Skipton and Mr Bannister, who also owns retail chain Boundary Mill, hopes that adding the spa will create up to another 50 jobs.

He said that young local people were talented and he hoped that this would provide an opportunity to some of them.

“They have a great work ethic,” he said.

Mr Bannister bought the Coniston Hall Estate more than 40 years ago, when it was in a state of disrepair.

He, with his family, turned it into a fish farm producing rainbow trout.

This then led to a tea room being established, before a bar and then came 40 bedrooms. Now The Coniston has 71 bedrooms.

Mr Bannister said: “We had a interesting year. Its been a very pleasing one really, trade has been good.

“It’s amazing when you see that we only started 18 years ago.”

Before cutting the first sod Mr Bannister said: “I think a spa is an essential part of the modern hotel.

“We had to create a good hotel before we could move forward. But we believe this is a very important part of our operation.”

He added: “What was important for us, to be a real destination hotel, was to have a spa.”

Construction work of the exterior is expected to take between four and five months and the hotel hopes to have the spa open in October.

The Coniston Spa will be open to hotel guests and day visitors from the local area, and will offer an exclusive club membership, which goes on sale in spring. The hotel hopes to have around 500 members.

The spa’s facilities will include a 15m swimming pool, thermal suite and gym.