Duff & Phelps administrators close hotels amid Covid-19 fears

02 April 2020 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read

Six hotels across the UK have been closed by administrators from Duff & Phelps, in accordance with Britain’s current coronavirus containment strategy. While the administrators stressed this was a temporary measure, it is unclear when or if the hotels will be able to open again in the near future.

Northern Powerhouse Developments was a firm which was founded by entrepreneur Gavin Woodhouse to focus on investments in the leisure and tourism industry. The group went bust in summer 2019 and administrators from Duff & Phelps were appointed to continue operating all the hotels in its portfolio, while a buyer was sought.

In mid-March, this saw Daish’s Holidays acquire the Esplanade hotel in Scarborough, a 70-bedroom property which remained open as it took control. Now, however, it seems the ongoing global health situation has seen time run out on finding a purchaser for the remaining hotels of the portfolio.

Duff & Phelps administrators close hotels amid Covid-19 fears

The news sees the Belmont Hotel, Queen’s Hotel and Llandudno Bay Hotel in Llandudno, the Fishguard Bay Hotel in Goodwick, the Fourcroft Hotel in Tenby, and the Pennine Manor Hotel and Old Golf Hotel in Huddersfield, close immediately. While it is unclear when the venues will be able to re-open, joint administrators Philip Duffy and Sarah Bell, both of Duff & Phelps, were explicit that this is a temporary measure.

Duffy stated, “It is clear that the hotel and catering sector is set to face a very tough few months, with income and revenue severely hit by the widespread travel restrictions in place, both across the UK and worldwide. As a result, we have had no choice but to close these hotels temporarily as the world addresses the Covid-19 crisis.”

Research from PwC had already suggested Britain’s hotel sector could face a rough 2020, before the nation entered lock-down. Citing Brexit uncertainties, the firm’s UK Hotels Forecast stated that maintaining growth in the industry wouldl get harder in 2020, with occupancy growth rates slipping into negative territory, compounding declining UK hotel investment volumes, which had seen a decline of 35% in H1 2019 to £2.6 billion.