The Cumberland Building Society paves the way for hotel loans by investing in the refurbishment of a luxury hotel in Oban
THE Cumberland Building Society kicked off 2022 by announcing a six-figure investment to support a luxury hotel rebranding and renovation project.
As the hospitality sector continues to face the challenges of COVID‐19, The Cumberland has made a statement of intent by funding over 60% of the hotel acquisition in Oban, a seaside town in the West Highlands in Scotland.
Famous hotel, bar and restaurant owner Paul Sloan bought the site in 2021 when it was named The Wellpark Hotel. Undergoing a complete renovation, the hotel will reopen as ‘No. 17 on the Promenade’. The 23-room oceanfront boutique hotel is scheduled to open in April.
Situated on the seafront esplanade in Oban, the hotel is undergoing a complete refurbishment including a new plumbing system, re-wiring, installation of air conditioning throughout the hotel and much more. Some original features will be retained, including a 16th century Jacobean ceiling that adorns one of the living areas.
Paul is well known for having operated in the hospitality industry for many years across Scotland, primarily supplying premium restaurant brands in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Oban. In addition to the No 17 project, The Cumberland has assisted Paul in refinancing No 26 by the Sea, as well as supporting the financing of the acquisition of staff accommodation.
Commenting on the investment, hotel owner Paul Sloan said; “I can’t repeat enough how great my experience working with the Cumberland team has been. There is always someone to advise on the project, which has not always been the case when working with other banks.
“They allowed me not only to invest in this project, but also to anticipate future investment opportunities, which would not be possible without their help. A year ago I felt extremely uncertain about my future in the hospitality industry – now I am about to open another luxury venue in Oban which guests will enjoy for years to come.
The Cumberland has recently made a number of changes to its offering, including the introduction of a fully managed service, with each customer having a single point of contact for questions regarding their mortgage. The team has also taken on new members, including several experienced bankers, who are based in key parts of the UK including Scotland, Cumbria Devon and Cornwall.
Scott McKerracher, Commercial Manager at The Cumberland, added: “We are delighted to be part of Paul’s latest acquisition. No 17 on the Promenade is set to deliver an exquisite level of luxury and promises to bring something extremely special to Oban.
“We expect to see more challenges in the hospitality industry over the next year, including staff shortages and inflationary pressures, adding to the sense of instability. However, many companies have still managed to seize great investment opportunities in the hotel industry, Paul’s project being a perfect example.
“Despite the obvious challenges, this is a truly exciting time for the future of hospitality. We have seen a 600% increase in the hospitality loan pipeline for hotels and vacation rentals and we look forward to supporting many of these opportunities, offering a fully managed service to our customers.”
“We also want to give those who are currently facing layers of debt the opportunity to be guided through the difficult time.” Based in Carlisle, the Cumberland Building Society operates across the UK, specializing in hotel loans, including hotels, holiday rentals, buy-to-let, guest houses and B&Bs.