Top Lancashire hotel goes into administration

A hotel voted the best in Lancashire last year has gone into administration.

But the Best Western Plus Samlesbury Hotel near Preston is continuing to trade as normal as attempts to find a new buyer continue.

The news has come as a huge shock to the hospitality industry locally, especially as the establishment was only recently short-listed in the Hotel of the Year category for the 2018 Lancashire Business Awards – a title it scooped in 2017.

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Uncertainty over Brexit, coupled with the introduction of the National Living Wage and the prospect of rising inflation is being blamed for a fall-off in bookings.

Joint administrator Matthew Ingram, of Duff and Phelps in Manchester, said in a statement: “Consumer confidence in the driving force of the sector and, as such, its health is dependent on economic certainty.

“With Brexit on the horizon and inflation on the rise, uncertainty is building, meaning consumers are increasingly tightening their belts. This coupled with the introduction of the National Living Wage in 2016, which hugely impacted on the leisure industry as a whole, has meant that those in the sector are facing a bumpy road ahead.”

The Samlesbury is owned by Squire Hotels, which also has the Windermere Hydro in the Lake District and the Etrop Grange Hotel near Manchester Airport. Both are unaffected.

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Squire took over the former Swallow Hotel in 2013 and carried out a £1m makeover. It became part of the Best Western Plus brand to raise its profile on a local level. Best Western is the UK’s largest collection of independently owned and family run hotels.

At the time Jodi Masterson, for Squire Hotels, said: “It’s a huge achievement for the hotel be associated with such a recognisable worldwide brand which will allow is to grow the Squire Hotels brand too.”

A hotel spokesperson said all bookings would be honoured.