St Annes’ Carlton Hotel set for refurb under new management team

From left: James and Steve Smith, Colette Barrett, Craig Aikman, Roger Banks

Vincents Solicitors’ Craig Aikman has facilitated a deal that will see the reinvigoration of St Annes hotel, The Carlton.

Entrepreneur Steve Smith and his family have joined forces with Roger Banks, whose family has owned the seafront hotel for 23 years.

The pair have secured a significant investment from NatWest to fund an improvement programme which will see each of the 16 bedrooms refurbished and the ground floor space transformed.

Changes will be made to the bar and Banksy’s café, which will be open in the daytime to make the most of the busy tourist location in the heart of the St Annes Pier area.

A truly family affair, Steve’s wife Dina and son James will join Roger’s mother Johannah front of house, Johannah having originally bought the hotel in 1997 before selling to her son in 2013.

Roger will continue to run the business with the support of Steve as the pair seek to grow and expand in the coming years.

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. Craig introduced me to Steve and to NatWest and brought together the deal very quickly and very smoothly.”

He added: “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.”

St Annes-based Steve, a founder and executive director of electrical goods distributor the MM Group in Wigan, was looking for a new challenge closer to home.

He said: “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.”

Craig Aikman, head of commercial property for Vincents Solicitors, added: “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.

“It was great timing and I was happy to put them together and bring in NatWest and secure the investment.

“We were able to get the deal sorted within just a couple of weeks, which has allowed the families to get on with making their plans for the business straight away.”

Colette Barrett, NatWest relationship manager, said: “Roger and Steve have some really exciting plans for the future of the business and we were impressed both by their proposition and their enthusiasm.”

The Carlton Hotel, South Promenade, St Annes, overlooks St Annes beach and the pier, the Island Cinema complex and YMCA leisure centre, the seafront fairground rides and beach huts, and is just a short walk to the St Annes town centre shops, restaurants and bars.