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Family's heartache after Carlisle hotel goes into receivership

A family face losing everything after the hotel they ran for more than 40 years has gone on the market.

Cumbria Park photo
Cumbria Park Hotel, Carlisle

The Lowther family, who have run the three-star Cumbria Park Hotel in Scotland Road since buying it as a single house in the 1960s, say they could lose their home to meet guarantees made to Clydesdale Bank.

The hotel has gone into receivership and five of the 31 staff have lost their jobs.

Receiver Baker Tilly hopes to sell it as a going concern, saving the jobs that remain.

Director Patricia Lowther said: “The bank has pulled the plug on us. We have been in trouble for a couple of years and we tried to sell the hotel.

“It was on the market for £1.7m but we didn’t get a buyer. It’s been a nightmare trying to keep the place going.

“We tried everything but the recession didn’t help. We couldn’t survive any longer.”

Baker Tilly has slashed the asking price of the 53-bedroom hotel to £850,000 in the hope of attracting a buyer.

Mrs Lowther added: “We could lose everything.

“Our cars are up for sale and our house at Brunstock is on the market. We’re in limbo. It’s dreadful. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The latest accounts for Cumbria Park Hotel Ltd, covering the year to March 31, 2011, show that it owed creditors £447,401 and had net current liabilities of £261,157.

Mrs Lowther said the position had deteriorated since then. Clydesdale Bank is owed just short of £1m.

The bank appointed Mark Ranson and Keith Anderson of Baker Tilly as joint administrative receivers earlier this month. They are now running the business.

Jess Koslow, a spokeswoman for Baker Tilly, said: “The hotel is still trading and the receivers are looking for a sale. In the meantime, the bulk of the staff have been retained.”

Mrs Lowther’s husband, Stan, is also a director of the business as is her mother-in-law, Mary Lowther, who started the venture by converting a house in the late 1960s.

The Manchester office of commercial property agent Colliers International is handling the sale.

Have your say

Having worked at this hotel as a school girl nearly 30 years ago I am very sad to read this. Mrs Lowther (Mary) was the most hardworking person I have ever met and has devoted her life fully to this family business. They do not deserve to lose their business and homes in this way and instead the banks should be looking for alternative solutions. After all a million is nothing compared to some bankers bonuses!

Posted by Anna on 9 June 2012 at 20:07

sad news.Local family run businesses are based on aspiration and in the cold light of day are traditional in there ideas.Therfore change is always not in keeping with market demands.I can only wish them well.

Posted by phill on 8 June 2012 at 17:27

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