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19th century historic Yorkshire-coast hotel bounces back after pandemic

Yorkshire-based coastal retreat, Raithwaite Sandsend (Raithwaite), has bounced back after securing a £250,000 investment in 2020,

Yorkshire-based coastal retreat, Raithwaite Sandsend (Raithwaite), has bounced back after securing a £250,000 investment in 2020, made up from £100,000 from NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and £150,000 directly from Business Enterprise Finance (BEF).

With Covid-19 lockdowns temporarily closing down the hospitality industry in 2020, the hotel faced significant challenges during the pandemic, with minimal cashflow to keep the business running. Thanks to the investment from NPIF & BEF, the hotel was able to continue operating and invest in its facilities, which has led to a return of pre-pandemic level guest numbers.

Raithwaite has future plans to boost its offering by adding nine new bedrooms, four new spa treatment rooms, and five off-grid woodland rooms.

The investment was a vital part of the hotel’s journey as it also helped bolster its cashflow prior to the ease of restrictions and the return of customers.

As of September 2022, the hotel is now 100% carbon neutral, and opened its organic kitchen garden in late 2021, which it uses to source ingredients for its menu, as well as installing electric car charging points across its site. Over the next few months, Raithwaite plans on installing low carbon wine-kegs introducing technology systems to eliminate paper checkouts.

Toby Hunter, owner of Raithwaite Sandsend, said: “ The investment from NPIF and BEF came at a fundamental time for our business which helped us start the post-covid period at an advantage. It is now a flourishing hotel with a viable and positive future with a point of difference.”

“As the business returns to fruition, we are planning ahead to accommodate even more guests as it is clear that people are flocking to the countryside to enjoy a much-needed Yorkshire retreat. Our green ambitions remain at the heart of what we do and we’re excited to become leaders in eco-tourism.”

Mark Iley, Investment Manager at BEF, said: “We are delighted to have supported Raithwaite Sandsend during a difficult period for hospitality sector. This was a complex case that could not be solved by high street lenders. Our decision to lend satisfied our commitment to positively impact to hospitality businesses in North Yorkshire with flexible finance. In doing, so we helped to safeguard jobs and sustain the growth of this wonderful tourist attraction. We wish Raithwaite Sandsend every success as they continue to grow.”

Sean Hutchinson at the British Business Bank said: “The tourist economy is central to the upkeep and sustainability of the Yorkshire coastline, and we are proud to have played a part in keeping this iconic hotel up and running. Raithwaite Sandsend brings people from all over the world to this beautiful part of the country, and it is great to see it expanding to match the deserved demand it is experiencing.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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