OakNorth Bank lends £2.8m to hoteliers Simon Rhatigan and Simon Kershaw to launch new hotel brand, starting with a 59-bedroom hotel in Scarborough

  • The loan will partially finance the acquisition of an existing hotel and fund its conversion into a 59-bedroom boutique hotel;
  • The new hotel brand – Bike and Boot – will provide a modern leisure escape with funky interiors, a range of unique facilities, and affordable prices;
  • The experienced duo plan to open four hotels under the new brand, with their second site, a new-build 80-bedroom hotel in the Peak District National Park expected to be complete in 2020;
  • Scarborough is consistently placed as the fourth most visited town or city in England, with 1.57m annual visitors – behind only London, Manchester and Birmingham.

OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has provided a £2.8m facility to experienced hoteliers, Simon Rhatigan and Simon Kershaw, who will use the money to launch a new boutique hotel brand, starting with the acquisition and conversion of an existing hotel in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

The duo has acquired the 50-bedroom, Grade II listed Mount Hotel in Cliff Bridge Terrace, and will refurbish it, increasing the number of rooms to 59 by converting an adjacent five-storey townhouse which is also being purchased. In addition to the new 100-cover bar and grill restaurant that will be opened, the new Bike and Boot hotel will also offer several unique facilities, including: secure bicycle storage facilities, walking and surfing drying rooms, dog-washing facilities, a retreat lounge with complimentary hot drinks, and an in-house cinema. The site benefits from an excellent location right by the sea – 31 of the 59 rooms will have sea views – and walking distance from the city centre and Scarborough train station.

Most recently, Simon Rhatigan ran the management contract for the Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants Group. Prior to that, he was the Managing Director of The Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa in North Yorkshire, which under his tenure, went from being a 17-bedroom pub to a multi award-winning 33-bedroom Small Luxury Hotel of the World. Meanwhile, Simon Kershaw is a highly experienced multiple site operator, having occupied senior roles within Whitbread, and consulting to several independent hotels.

Bike & Boot founders, Simon Rhatigan and Simon Kershaw, said: “We are very excited to be launching this new hotel concept and feel this beautiful site in Scarborough is the ideal location to get started. The town is a well-established and historic seaside resort offering a range of sites, including the ruins of an 11th century castle and a large harbour which has undergone major regeneration in recent years. Our hope is that Bike and Boot will offer a unique escape for not only tourists but also for locals who might wish to visit the restaurant or cinema.

“Deepesh and the team at OakNorth worked tirelessly to ensure the deal got done in the time frame we needed it. They have a thorough understanding of this sector and share our entrepreneurial drive and ambition.”

Deepesh Thakrar, Senior Director, Debt Finance at OakNorth, commented: “This unique hotel concept is the brain child of two experienced hoteliers who have worked together for several years. Both Simons have an extensive track record in developing and delivering for some of the UK’s respected hotels and leisure brands and have successfully built a business that provides strategic management services to the hospitality industry, Helmsley Hospitality. We look forward to watching the Bike and Boot brand develop and working with them on future sites.”

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