A hotel group – which chose Newcastle for its first venue outside of its native North America – is eyeing further opportunities within the UK, backed by an eight-figure refinancing package.
Sandman Hotel Group, which developed the iconic Scottish & Newcastle headquarters in central Newcastle into the Sandman Signature hotel in 2011, has revealed it is looking at a number of sites across the country for further developments in the near future.
The family-owned business, which is the leading hospitality group in its native Canada with more than 40 leisure venues across the country, is currently investing over £20 million in its third UK hotel in Aberdeen.
The 218-room hotel is due to open in early 2018, creating over 200 jobs, and marks another flagship development for Sandman as it introduces its brand into Scotland. The business also has a hotel in Gatwick, London.
Mitch Gaglardi, director of Sandman and whose family have owned and run the business since establishing its first site over 40 years ago, says the huge success of its Newcastle hotel has been a key factor in the group’s ongoing UK expansion plans.
Since purchasing the Newcastle site in 2009, Sandman has been supported by law firm Sintons, and has recently secured refinancing from Allied Irish Bank (GB) to help it push on with its ambitions.
Mitch says: “We have plans to expand further in the UK and are looking at a number of sites. We have successfully been operating here for a number of years now, in Newcastle and at Gatwick, and the time is right to build on that.
“Our Aberdeen development is a serious investment and will be a legacy property for us, one that takes us into another new part of the UK. It is a large-scale development with extensive conference and banqueting facilities, but it will replicate the family-friendly atmosphere and great food, service and décor that we are known for throughout the group.
“Our Newcastle hotel continues to be a huge success and was a great first step into the UK for us. It’s a fantastic city and it’s good to continue to work with specialists there.”
Newcastle law firm Sintons is Sandman’s long-standing UK advisor, with commercial partner Christopher Welch and real estate partner Alok Loomba having acted for the business on a number of transactions since 2009.
Jane Meikle, head of banking at Sintons, oversaw the recent refinancing from AIB (GB).
Alok says: “This is another significant transaction we have completed for Sandman Hotel Group to help them further their ambitions within the UK.
“Combining expertise from our banking, real estate, corporate and commercial and licensing teams, we are able to offer a full service to Sandman, who are a major international player on the leisure scene yet still retain the family-run ethos which has been such a major factor in their continued success.
“We are very pleased to be able to work with Mitch and Sandman Hotel Group to support them in another big step forward for the business.”
Chris Dixon, relationship manager from AIB (GB), adds: “Sandman Hotel Group brings a wealth of experience to the task of delivering their exciting plans for the North East and several other parts of Britain.
“We are very pleased that our track record of meeting the complex banking needs of ambitious hotel and hospitality companies has led to an invitation to join the Sandman team on the next stage of their journey.”