A NATIONAL hotel group may be coming to the rescue of a North East project plagued by financial problems and delays.
Soaring costs meant the bid to complete the Newcastle Airport Hotel had hit £34m – or £180,000 per room.
And the plans of millionaire businessman Joe Robertson to turn the hotel into a luxury stop-off for passengers were scuppered when he was forced to withdraw following the crash of companies linked to the project.
But last night there was fresh hope for the future when it was revealed licence applications have been submitted to Newcastle City Council, in anticipation of a new deal to buy the site going through.
The hotel is understood to be the subject of interest from the Cairn Group. And the National hotel group, which already owns the Royal Station Hotel, in Newcastle city centre, yesterday confirmed it had entered into negotiations on the site.
Last night joint administrative receivers for the hotel site said they were confident of a sale.
A statement said: “We can confirm that no sale has as yet been completed on the Newcastle Airport Hotel. As is our usual policy with all sale processes it would be inappropriate for us to comment on any individual offers prior to completion. However we remain confident that a successful sale will be achieved.”
Simon Fisher, finance director at Newcastle Airport, said: “We acknowledge the statement from the joint administrative receivers and look forward to a successful conclusion to the sale of the hotel.
“This new addition to the airport site is much anticipated by our customers.
“We hope it will enhance their journey through Newcastle as well as provide employment opportunities in the region.”
In 2009 Mr Robertson invested in Rostock Investments Limited and St James Capital Hotels Limited, both of which had secured the deal to build the 187-room hotel. But the British Virgin Islands-registered businesses were put in the hands of administrators Zolfo Cooper.