The iconic Midland Hotel in Morecambe is under new ownership.
Newcastle-based The Inn Collection Group has purchased the iconic seafront hotel for an undisclosed sum, after completion of the deal went through overnight.
The 1930s hotel was previously owned by the Clitheroe-based charity, the Lancaster Foundation and operated by English Lakes Hotels.
The Inn Collection Group will now both own and run the hotel, with the same existing team of staff at the Midland.
LISTEN to our interview with Joe Lavin from The Inn Collection Group, new owners of the Midland
Mr Lavin, regional operations manager, said: "We are custodians of a beautiful building.
"We want to develop what is already an outstanding product. There are no grand plans other than to look after the site and develop the team.
"We've got lots of investment opportunity and lots of engagement opportunity with the local area. We can do a lot of events. It's all about getting involved with Morecambe and being a true part and player within the community.
"We've been bowled over by the team here. They are the heart and soul of the place. We've got an incredible general manager in Andy Lemm who has an enthusiastic and hard-working team. All we intend to do is support them and give them the opportunities that a large group can give."
Sean Donkin, managing director of The Inn Collection Group said: “We are delighted to bring The Midland into the group and bring in an establishment that is held in such high regard.
“It is a site that has a unique positioning with loyal fans worldwide and it is exciting to become its custodian.
“We are very keen to retain what is special about The Midland and see it very much as a protection project, looking after the fabric of the building and ensuring that it continues to occupy a prominent place not just in its physical location, but in peoples’ hearts for many years to come.
“Overlooking the bay and the sunsets with the Lakeland fells as the backdrop are something that I love and I’m looking forward to seeing many more people enjoy them too.”
The Grade II* listed Midland was built in 1933 by the London Midland & Scottish Railway and was designed by architect Oliver Hill to compliment the curve of the promenade on Morecambe Bay.
It has a history in popular culture too, featuring in the 1960 film The Entertainer starring Laurence Olivier and the 1990s ITV adaptations of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, starring David Suchet.
The Midland was closed and derelict for several years but reopened in 2008 following restoration work by design company Urban Splash.
Since then the hotel has had a new lease of life under the management of Lake District-based English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, which has been running the Midland for the past 13 years.
Simon Berry, executive chairman, said: "It has been our privilege to have this responsibility and we will miss it. We want to thank the amazing team at the hotel for their dedication and hard work over those years and we wish the Inn Collection every success as they take on the job of looking after the Midland.”
Chris Richardson, development director of Lancaster Foundation, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of this sale. The charity will continue to grow its funding to support the increasing needs of the charities that we support.”
The Inn Collection Group is a leading pub with rooms company owned by The Harris Family Trusts.
It owns 35 inns across the UK including in Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne & Wear, Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and North Wales.
The group has added eight sites to its collection in 2022, with the Glenridding Hotel, The Regent Hotel, Ambleside Lake House and The Wordsworth Hotel in Cumbria, Hotel St George in Harrogate, The Bull in Beaumaris and The St Kilda hotel in Llandudno joining their portfolio along with The Midland Hotel.
The group employs over 900 people.