Group that ran historic Derbyshire castle hotel goes into administration

The hotel group that ran an historic castle hotel in Derbyshire has now appointed administrators after the business was hit by financial difficulty during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 12:30 pm

Methodist Guild Holidays manages three sites across the UK, including Grade II-listed Willersley Castle near Matlock which was permanently closed during the first national lockdown in March last year and later put up for sale.

Derbyshire moved from Tier Three to Tier Four restrictions less than a week before a national lockdown was announced by the Government last week, which has forced hotels like Willersley Castle to temporarily close and resulted in financial difficulty for the group.

The hotel group that ran Willersley Castle in Cromford has gone into administration.

Methodist Guild Holidays which trades as Christian Guild, also operates Treloyhan Manor in St Ives and Sidholme hotel near Exeter.

Hothorpe Hall Ltd – a subsidiary of Methodist Guild Holidays Ltd which owns and runs events at the Georgian manor house in Northamptonshire, near Market Harborough – has also appointed administrators.

A total of 30 staff have been furloughed at the manor house after it was temporarily closed due to the third coronavirus lockdown.

Join administrators Yasmin Bhikha and John Lowe were appointed from advisory firm FRP to Methodist Guild Holidays Ltd and Hothorpe Hall Ltd on December 14, 2020.

The hotel group went into administration after both of their companies struggled with persistent cashflow difficulties since the pandemic first hit.

Administrators hope to honour existing bookings at Hothorpe Hall in line with Government coronavirus rules but have began the marketing process to sell all four sites.

A small number of employees from both Methodist Guild Holidays and Hothorpe Hall will be taken off the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, however no redundancies have yet been made.

Director at FRP Yasmin Bhikha said: "Like much of the rest of the UK hospitality and leisure sector, Methodist Guild Holidays and Hothorpe Hall have seen their ability to operate severely restricted by the pandemic, which has led to financial difficulties and need for restructuring.

"The administration provides some protection as we explore options to secure a future for the hotel group.

"We have launched a marketing process to find investors and are having conversations with interested parties."

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