The Caterer

Stafford owner Britannia Hospitality acquires Northcote

19 February 2019 by
Stafford owner Britannia Hospitality acquires Northcote

Britannia Hospitality, which owns the Stafford London hotel, has acquired Northcote, the luxury Lancashire hotel with a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Managing director Craig Bancroft confirmed that he, general manager Craig Jackson and executive chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen would be remaining at the hotel and continuing their bid for a second Michelin star, as was announced on Northcote's sale of Ribble Valley Inns last year.

He said: "We want to make sure that everyone understands we're all staying and we're much looking forward to working alongside the Stafford management team and developing Northcote further and that was the whole point of the deal.

"We'll let everyone know once everyone's decided strategically where we're going forward because there's no point in doing that until we've discussed it with the teams involved.

"It was the right partner in terms of the synergy between a really iconic London property to be paired up with a country house hotel that has got such a fabulous backstory.

"A hotel like the Stafford to take on a Northcote is quite an amazing story."

A spokesperson for Britannia said: "We look forward to working with the team at Northcote to continue to drive the performance of the hotel and deliver the exceptional experiences for which the hotel is known."

Bancroft, winner of the 2016 Cateys Wine and Spirit Ambassador Award and mentor to Stafford general manager Stuart Procter, was named 2016 Hotelier of the Year.

When he was announced as the recipient of the accolade executive director of Iconic Luxury Hotels Andrew Stembridge described him as overcoming "a variety of hurdles to create the Mecca that is Northcote".

Northcote is a member of Pride of Britain and Relais & Chateaux. It was named the AA Hotel of the Year for England 2016-17. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 1996 under then chef-patron Nigel Haworth, which it has retained ever since, now with executive chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen at the helm.

Triple Catey award winner Haworth joined the property in 1984, one year after Bancroft arrived at the hotel as general manager, with both going on to oversee the property as joint managing directors. Bancroft and Haworth acquired a stake in the business in 1986, buying the hotel outright three years later.

In 2012, investors Richard and Lynda Matthewman became majority shareholders which brought about the restructuring of Northcote Leisure Group and resulted in a £7m redevelopment and refurbishment, completed in 2014, however the Matthewmans resigned their directorship in 2017.

On Companies House, Nigel Hall (chairman of the Jersey-based FCM Trust) is now listed as owning 75% or more of Northcote Leisure Group, the parent company of the 26-bedroom, four-red-AA-star hotel in Langho. In its results for the year to 31 March 2017, Northcote Leisure Group reported a group turnover increase of 8% to £11m.

Haworth changed his role from director to ambassador of Northcote in October 2017 but continues to work with Northcote as an ambassador and oversees its Obsession festival.

Britannia bought the 107-bedroom, five-red-AA-star Stafford hotel in 2009 for a reported £77.5m from pubs and hotel firm Daniel Thwaites.

Northcote Leisure Group sees 8% increase in turnover to £11m >>

Focus is on second Michelin star following Northcote's sale of Ribble Valley Inns >>

Nigel Haworth to change his role from director to ambassador of Northcote >>

Britannia Hospitality buys the Stafford hotel for £77.5m >>

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