Feathers Hotels Group invests in the North West with RBS CIB support


Feathers Hotels Group invests in the North West with RBS CIB support

Chester-based Feathers Hotels Group, one of the North West of England's fastest growing and most well-known hotel chains, is to invest further in its portfolio of award-winning hotels thanks to multi-million-pound funding and business banking support from the Royal Bank of Scotland's Corporate & Institutional Banking (RBS CIB) team in Liverpool.

The Feathers Hotel Group, a customer of RBS CIB for over 40 years, has a collection of eight 3-and 4-star hotels in key cities across the North West: three hotels in Chester, two in Liverpool, and one each in Manchester, Warrington and Preston. The group has invested substantially in its business, not just in its hotels and their facilities but in its sales and marketing proficiency and staff development. The results of this investment are clear: staff numbers grew 55% between 2009 and 2010 to just under 500 in total; some 67% of bookings are now generated via the internet; and the group picked up two major awards in 2011*.

Although independently owned, the Feathers Hotels Group is a member of the globally recognised Best Western chain and benefits from the marketing and technology solutions this membership brings. Looking ahead, the hotel group will use the RBS CIB business support and funding as well as the Best Western membership and its strong business momentum to improve customer service and satisfaction, invest in staff excellence and, potentially, expand its portfolio.

Over the past three years the Feathers Hotel Group, with support from RBS CIB, has invested and grown its estate across the North West of England.One of the major redevelopments for the group was the upgrade of the landmark Queens Hotel in Chester, a project which included adding 87 further rooms via the ‘Kings at the Queen' extension. The hotel, which boasts extensive banqueting and conference facilities, has become a major wedding venue in the city and has spearheaded similar redevelopments across the group. The latest examples of this have been upgrades to the Leyland Hotel in Preston and the investment in theAlicia Hotel in Liverpool.

Stuart Hunter, managing director, Feathers Group, said: "With the support of RBS CIB, Feathers has been investing in its well-known staff training and management philosophy, redeveloping rooms and investing in in-demand services such as conference and wedding facilities. We are thrilled to have RBS on board as a long-term strategic partner. We have ambitious plans for the North West and know that the team at RBS in Liverpool will help us reach these goals. The Feathers Group has increased jobs across region and is consistently looking to create increased sales."

Philip Mills, regional director, Merseyside, Cheshire & North Wales, RBS Corporate & Institutional Banking, said: "The Feathers Hotels Group has benefited from a very long-standing relationship with senior management at RBS CIB, and the Liverpool banking team will continue to act as a strong financial partner thanks to the RBSGroup's strong sector knowledge and expertise.The British Hospitality Association's British Hospitality: Trends and Developments'Study, published in 2010, concluded that the UK hospitality industry is surviving the recession without suffering the widespread damage that many predicted - and the Feathers Hotels Group is the perfect example of a well-run firm in the sector that is succeeding and growing."

* The Best Western Premier Queen Hotel in Chester was awarded Visit Cheshire's Large Hotel of the Year 2010/2011; The Best Western Premier Leyland Hotel in Preston was awarded Lancashire's Large Hotel of the Year 2010/2011.

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