Morecambe’s iconic Midland Hotel sold

Morecambe’s iconic Midland Hotel has been acquired by The Inn Collection Group (ICG) as the Newcastle-based operator continues expansion on the Lancashire coast. 

The investment comes as Morecambe braces itself for news of government backing for Eden North, an eco-visitor attraction developed by the founders of the successful Eden Project in Cornwall. Planning permission has already been approved by Lancaster City Council.

An internationally renowned art-deco building in the Streamline Moderne style, The Midland’s previous owners were the Clitheroe-based charity, the Lancaster Foundation. 

The Midland is ICG’s third acquisition in Lancashire and joins The Lindum and The Carlton in Lytham St Annes, which are currently undergoing renovations and conversion into a 99-room single site.  

It is also the fourth acquisition since the start of October, after ICG completed a pair of deals to take over properties in North Wales, The Bull’s Head Inn in Beaumaris and the St Kilda Hotel in Llandudno and expanded its presence in Cumbria with the purchase of The Wordsworth Hotel in Grasmere.  

Sean Donkin, managing director of The Inn Collection Group said, “We are delighted to bring The Midland into the group and bring in an establishment that is held in such high regard. 

“It is a site that has a unique positioning with loyal fans worldwide and it is exciting to become its custodian. 

“We are very keen to retain what is special about The Midland and see it very much as a protection project, looking after the fabric of the building and ensuring that it continues to occupy a prominent place not just in its physical location, but in peoples’ hearts for many years to come. 

“Overlooking the bay and the sunsets with the Lakeland fells as the backdrop are something that I love and I’m looking forward to seeing many more people enjoy them too.”

A grade 2 listed structure, The Midland was built in 1933 by the London Midland & Scottish Railway and was designed by architect Oliver Hill to compliment the curve of the promenade on Morecambe Bay. 

It has a history in popular culture too, featuring in the 1960 film The Entertainer starring Laurence Olivier and the 1990’s ITV adaptations of Agatha Christie’s Poirot starring David Suchet.   

In 2006 Urban Splash saved the iconic hotel from ruin, a two-year restoration programme completed in 2008, and in the following year the developer agreed a new partnership deal with Cumbrian family-owned firm English Lakes Hotels, which owns the Low Wood Hotel in Windermere, among others.

The deal to sell the hotel sees English Lakes Hotels Resorts and Venues end its relationship with Morecambe.  Simon Berry executive chairman said: “The Midland is an hotel that you curate rather than a business that you run. It has been our privilege to have this responsibility for the last 13 years, we will miss it.”