The £7m investment in the expansion and refurbishment of the four-red-star, 26-bedroom Northcote has boosted business at the hotel and restaurant in Lango, Lancashire, by 39%.
Turnover was up to £4.6m, compared to £3.3m the previous years, according to the hotel's annual report for the year to 31 March 2015 lodged at Companies House. Pre-tax loss was £1.05m, down from £1.4m in 2014.
The expansion of Northcote followed the sale in 2012 by Craig Bancroft and Nigel Haworth of a majority share-holding in the hotel to local entrepreneurs and long-term customers Richard and Lynda Matthewman. Today Bancroft and Haworth, who retain a minority share-holding in the business, are joint managing directors, while Richard Matthewman is the chairman.
Northcote has grown from what was originally a six bedroom 19th-century country house in the 1980s to the 26-bedroom property it is today. New facilities includes a private dining room, expanded kitchen, cocktail bar, cookery school, staff facilities and additional bedrooms.
The report said: "We are pleased that the average spend per room on departure is now tracking well above last year and occupancy base in an 18 bedroom property for the majority of the year is building steadily. The additional eight bedrooms were brought online for January to March, our weakest trading period and the full benefit of the competition of all the building works will not be seen until the year ended 31 March 2016."
However, despite the growth in business levels, Bancroft and Haworth are concerned that controversial plans for a multi-faith natural burial ground opposite the hotel could "decimate a well-invested, vibrant and progressive business".
In August Bancroft told The Caterer that he opposed the plans on the grounds of "traffic movements, congestion, ecological issues and geological issues, in particular the pollution of the water course, which may affect our hotel borehole, not to mention the general disruption and congestion caused by funerals arriving all at once and anniversary visits to the site, which can be significant."
During the course of the year, Northcote has retained a Michelin star for the 18th consecutive year and become a member of Relais & Chateau as well as continue its membership of Pride of Britain hotels. The report concludes by saying that the business is now "well placed to work toward our goal of a second Michelin star which would place us amongst the elite in the hospitality sector allowing the business to command premium price and develop the overall profitability over the coming years".
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