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Former Northern Powerhouse Developments hotel closed and on the market

24 July 2020 by

The Fourcroft hotel in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, has been closed due to the impact of Covid-19 on the business, and brought to market by administrators for £1.25m.

Northern Powerhouse Developments (NPD) bought the 40-bedroom property in 2017 off a £1m guide price from the Osborne family, who had run the hotel since the early 1940s, as part of plans to grow a portfolio of approximately nine hotels into 40 by 2020. The group's hotel operations were managed by Giant Hospitality under the Whisper Hotels brand.

However, NPD fell into administration last year and Philip Duffy and Sarah Bell of Duff & Phelps were appointed joint administrators. The group's Esplanade hotel in Scarborough has since been acquired by Daish's Holidays and the remaining properties are reported to have been temporarily closed.

Northern Powerhouse Developments was founded by director Gavin Woodhouse to focus on investment in the leisure and tourism industry, and also included his care homes businesses and the Afan Valley Adventure Resort development. The group operated a funding system whereby investors forward-buy rooms in the hotels, and this money was used to purchase and develop the properties.

However, according to administration documents filed with Companies House for Northern Powerhouse Developments in March, while the company had agreed to put investor funds into a separate account solely for the schemes the investors were investing in, investor funds were in fact being paid into the company's central bank account and appear to have been used to fund loss-making companies within the wider group.

The administrators have frozen Woodhouse's personal assets and commenced proceedings to recover an overdrawn director's loan of more than £600,000. Investigations into the company's affairs are ongoing.

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