St Anne's hotel set for makeover

The Carlton Hotel on the seafront in St Annes is to be refurbished after the owners teamed up with a local entrepreneur and secured a funding package though Natwest.

Each of the 16 bedrooms will be upgraded and the ground floor space will be revamped, including changes to the bar and Banksy’s café which will be open in the daytime to make the most of the busy tourist location.

The upgrades follow the pairing of entrepreneur Steve Smith with Roger Banks, whose family has owned the seafront hotel for 23 years.

Roger bought the hotel from his mother Johannah, who still works front of house, in 2013. Steve’s wife Dina and son James will also join the business.

Roger said: “I was looking for an investor to come in to help take the hotel to the next level and hopefully take on some new projects. We’ve got a great product and a loyal customer base, but we know there is still more that we can do.

“We’re really pleased to have the Smith family on board. They bring with them an enormous amount of skill and experience, huge enthusiasm and a similar ethos for what we’re trying to achieve, creating a contemporary family-friendly hotel and providing a fantastic holiday experience for guests.”

We’ve got a great product and a loyal customer base, but we know there is still more that we can do.

Craig Aikman at Vincents Solicitors brought Roger and Steve together and helped facilitate the Natwest funding. He said: "Having worked with both Roger and Steve for many years I knew they would get along and had the complementary skills that could really grow this business."

Steve added: “Craig’s intuition that Roger and I would work well together was spot on and the business opportunity is exactly what I was looking for, to get involved with a local business where I see potential, where I can put my skills to good use and really make a difference.

“The hotel is in a fantastic position on the Prom in St Annes and has the potential to be something really special. Roger’s enthusiasm and drive for the business are what encouraged me to jump on board. His family have done a great job and, together with some fresh ideas and this NatWest funding, we will reinvigorate the hotel and grow the business, hopefully starting to look at other opportunities on the Fylde Coast and beyond.”

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