Tavistock Hospitality make 'significant' investment in newly acquired Roker Hotel

The North East leisure group have refurbished The Roker Hotel - turning it into a Best Western Plus standard

From left: Ian Cowie, chairman of SME Banking at NatWest; Mark Hird, managing director of Tavistock Hospitality; and NatWest relationship director, Mike Cross
From left: Ian Cowie, chairman of SME Banking at NatWest; Mark Hird, managing director of Tavistock Hospitality; and NatWest relationship director, Mike Cross

Leisure group Tavistock Hospitality has completed a series of improvements to its most recent acquisition - The Roker Hotel in Sunderland.

The undisclosed investment, described as “significant”, has transformed the hotel, which was acquired in June this year, from a Best Western to Best Western Plus standard.

Newcastle law firm Sintons advised on the deal which also included the acquisition of the Best Western Grand Hotel in Hartlepool, using a funding package from NatWest.

Earlier this year, luxury cakery and tea room Let There Be Crumbs opened at The Roker Hotel and its Italian Farmhouse restaurant has also been refurbished.

Later this year Tavistock intends to refurbish the hotel’s ballroom and its bar.

Next year will see the second phase of the refurbishment with plans to extend and increase the number of rooms as well as refurbish the existing bedrooms.

Tavistock Hospitality has gained national recognition for its Sonnet 43 brewery and earlier this year The Journal revealed the firm’s plan to increase its number of its popular ‘brew tap’ venues across the North East.

The firm revealed it was looking at looking at several new potential sites, in addition to the three it currently operates in Coxhoe – which adjoins the brewery – Hebburn and Chester-le-Street.

Expansion would take Tavistock’s brew tap portfolio from three to 12 over the next year.

Mark Hird, managing director of Tavistock Hospitality, who had been nominated for Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “We feel the hotel market place in Sunderland needs a change of direction which is why we want to make the Roker Hotel a boutique establishment with its exceptional service, outstanding dining facilities and luxurious setting.”

Tavistock Hospitality’s acquisition project was supported by NatWest relationship director Mike Cross, who helped to secure a £3.5m loan to progress the plan.

Mr Hird said: “Mike was very supportive of our plans for the hotel. He came up with effective solutions to meet our funding needs.”

Mr Cross added: “I was delighted to support Tavistock Hospitality. It’s an exceptional business and the work that is being carried out at the Roker Hotel will be an asset to the area. I wish the business every success for the future.”

The Roker Hotel and Best Western Grand Hotel Hartlepool, along with Tavistock Italia restaurants in Birtley and South Shields, were purchased from Durham Estates, a property business owned by Russell Foster, who is also Mr Hird’s father-in-law.

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