A DEAL has been struck to bring a second Mercure hotel to East Lancashire.

Bosses at KRO Hospitality confirmed that they had bought the Samlesbury Hotel out of administration, protecting 50 jobs there.

And as part of their future plans, KRO has also announced it is going into partnership with the Accor-run Mercure arm, which also runs The Dunkenhalgh at Clayton-le-Moors.

The development is the latest hotels boost for the Blackburn area, after it was confirmed that Hampton at Hilton is coming to Whitebirk and Best Western is looking to convert the former Wheatsheaf Hotel in the town centre.

The Premier Inn, in the Cathedral Quarter, has also been doing a brisk trade.

The Samlesbury, originally known as the Five Barred Gate, will be relaunched in April following a £1.5million makeover, including the unveiling of a bar and grill harking back to the venue’s original identity.

Before its most recent difficulties, it had been operated by Squire Hotels, in conjunction with the Best Western chain.

Kim Evind Krohn, KRO’s owner, said he was “delighted” to welcome The Samlesbury to their portfolio.

He added: “It is a fantastic hotel with enormous potential and is situated in an ideal location to attract business travellers and leisure guests alike.

“We have some very exciting plans for the hotel refurbishment and our new food offer, and we look forward to working with the Accor team to bring these to fruition.

“The hotel is of huge importance to the region. It was recently shortlisted in the Hotel of the Year category for the 2018 Lancashire Business Awards, a title it won in 2017, and we are very pleased that we can help ensure the hotel remains an important part of the community.

“We can also confirm there will be no disruption to day-to-day operation.”

The hospitality firm has been involved with a number of north-west hotel projects, such as the The Light Aparthotel in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and the launch of the Holiday Inn Express at Leigh’s Sports Village.

Cristina de Oliveira-Frewen, senior vice-president of franchise operations, AccorHotels Northern Europe, added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with KRO Hospitality to ensure the hotel achieves its full potential as a high-quality, authentic destination for leisure and business travellers and the local community.”