THE team behind an award-winning East Lancashire hotel has announced its acquisition of Blackpool’s landmark The Best Western Carlton Hotel.

London-based Starboard Hotels, which holds the franchise for the Holiday Inn Express in Burnley, has said its newest hotel will undergo a “sympathetically designed” renovation project.


The news of the future of the much-loved Carlton, a feature of the resort’s North Shore, comes after the area was given support from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

Paul Callingham, Starboard Hotel’s managing director, said: “Our acquisition of The Best Western Carlton is a positive step into Blackpool’s hospitality sector. It is important for the local economy to have new investors. We want to add value to the family accommodation offering, providing excellent quality and service for our guests.”

Kerian (corr) Barnes, Starboard’s UK operations manager and chairwoman of the East Lancashire Business In the Community scheme, said: “Just as we have successfully done with our Burnley hotel, we will be seeking to establish apprenticeships and other schemes to encourage people to develop careers within the hospitality industry.

“We know The Best Western Carlton is a well respected hotel, loved by many of its guests.

“We will build and develop that heritage so that our loyal guests and a new generation of visitors can enjoy Blackpool’s unique hospitality in comfort.”

“We appreciate there is a shortage of really good, quality family hotel accommodation in the resort and we are committed to ensuring The Best Western Carlton meets those needs in a friendly, modern way with a well-trained team and quality offering.”

Under her management, Burnley’s Holiday Inn Express recently won a major industry gong, the Intercontinental Hotel Group’s Developing People award, recognising the outstanding achievements in encouraging people to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.

Plans for the 58-bedroomed Best Western Carlton include the creation of new family rooms and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Brian Hobbs, president of Burnley Chamber of Trade, said: “The Holiday Inn Express in Burnley is a very successful hotel in the town.

“It has a good track record of success and this is great news.

“Burnley has a lot of thriving businesses at the moment and its great that they feel that they can expand at this time.”