Tax bill forces hotel into administration

ONE of Scarborough’s most iconic hotels, which once welcomed Winston Churchill through its doors, has gone into administration.

The family-run company behind the historic Royal Hotel called in administrators as a result of a soaring tax bill.

English Rose Hotels Scarborough Ltd also owns the Clifton Hotel in the town, which was put up for sale earlier this month.

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Both hotels will continue to trade as normal until a new buyer is found, however administrators MCR would not confirm whether jobs were at risk.

The 118-bedroom Royal Hotel employs 77 full time members of staff and the Clifton has 33 employees.

David Whitehouse, partner at MCR, said: “Both the Clifton and the Royal have strong reputations and high levels of occupancy. There is significant interest in these hotels and we would expect to complete a sale of the hotels as a going concern over the coming weeks.”

As directors of English Rose Hotels Scarborough, the Turner family has owned the Royal Hotel for 12 years. It is a second major blow for the Turners, who lost another historic hotel, Holbeck Hall, when it fell into the North Sea in 1993 following a landslide.

The firm’s sister company English Rose Hotels Yorkshire Ltd, which includes the Green Man Family Inn, Malton, in its portfolio, has not been affected. The Royal Hotel opened on St Nicholas Street almost 200 years ago and the iconic building has attracted a plethora of famous guests, including Prime Minister Winston Churchill and movie star Gwyneth Paltrow.

Its imposing architecture, including the renowned staircase and atrium, still bears all the hallmarks of the Regency period.

Scarborough Tory MP Robert Goodwill said: “The Royal is one of the three top hotels in Scarborough and therefore I’m sure that other hotel groups will be looking at possibly acquiring it, perhaps at a very competitive price given the current situation. I am very sad for the Turners who are a long-standing Scarborough family.”

In what has been a turbulent year for businesses in the town, the collapse of the Royal comes after other major family businesses have been hit by crisis.

Woodhead the Bakers folded after 74 years and printing giant Pindar went into administration last month.