All 10 Northern Powerhouse Developments (NPD) hotels operating under Whisper Hotels are understood to be in administration.
The Caterer reported in August that administrators were appointed to four of the hotels, with Philip Duffy and Sarah Bell of Duff & Phelps appointed joint administrators of Caer Rhun Hall in Conwy and the Fourcroft hotel in Tenby, Pembrokeshire; and CG&Co appointed joint administrators of Gilsland Hall in Brampton, Cumbria and the Esplanade in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Gilsland Hall has since been brought to market for £1.55m by Christie & Co.
According to documents filed on Companies House and the Gazette, the Belmont, Queens and Llandudno Bay hotel (pictured) in Llandudno; Fishguard Bay hotel in Goodwick, Pembrokeshire; as well as the Imperial Crown hotel in Halifax, Pennine Manor in Huddersfield and Old Golf House hotel in Huddersfield, all West Yorkshire, are also in administration. Duff & Phelps are overseeing the administration of all except the Imperial Crown, which is being overseen by CG&Co. The businesses continue to operate while a buyer is sought.
Duffy and Bell were appointed interim managers of parent company Northern Powerhouse Developments in July. At the time Duffy said the appointment was to “secure the assets of the company while enabling a detailed assessment and forensic investigation into where many millions of pounds have gone”. They were appointed as administrators earlier this month.
Whisper Hotels is the trading name of Giant Hospitality (which is not in administration), one of a myriad of companies of which NPD chairman Gavin Woodhouse is a director.
The Guardian and ITV published an investigation in June into the finances of Woodhouse’s companies. Following its publication, Northern Powerhouse Developments issued a statement saying it “strenuously denies any wrongdoing” and “will regroup, take advice from a range of specialists, including insolvency practitioners, and work to ensure its long-term future”.
The group was established to invest in the leisure and tourism industry, with investors forward-buying rooms in hotels and their cash used to purchase and develop the properties.
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