THE new owners of one of East Lancashire’s best-known hotels have announced ‘a significant investment’ in its future.

Uncertainty surrounded the award-winning Stanley House Hotel and Spa in Mellor after it was bought by Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the Blackburn brothers who founded Euro Garages, as a private investment in September.

Local councillors and staff expected it to close as they declined to give details of their plans when the Lancashire Telegraph exclusively revealed their purchase earlier this month.

At the time, hotel bosses understood that the lease signed in September 2019 ran out on September 30, 2020, and on that date the hotel and spa would close.

But now the Issa brothers have announced the transfer of the 54-acre site with Grade II listed manor house to their Monte Hotels hospitality business and promised major investment in its future development.

Ribble Valley economic development boss Cllr Stuart Hirst welcomed the revelation.

He said: “This is great news. I am absolutely delighted. I look forward to details of their investment.”

The Issas had previously acquired the land and property assets of the Mellor hotel from Leehand Leisure in October.

They remained tight-lipped on their plans until yesterday when they announced them to staff and confirmed that all 85 jobs were secure beyond the September 30 lease agreed with the previous owners.

The hotel and spa is now taking bookings again after that date.

The brothers said yesterday: “The Issa family are delighted to announce this acquisition.

“Stanley House is a premier destination for those visiting the area and locals accessing the world class renowned facilities. This is testament to the outstanding team assembled and the services developed over the years. Everyone associated with the hotel’s journey and story should be proud.

“We’re incredibly excited about the potential Stanley House presents, and we look forward to sharing our investment plans in the coming months.”

Until September 30, the current Stanley House directors will oversee the day to day operations with Monte Hotels, which is the franchise partner for the new Hampton by Hilton hotel at Frontier Park, Whitebirk, taking full control from October 1.

Stanley House, which has 30 bedrooms, was opened in 2004 by the late Fred Walker, co-founder of Walker Steel with brother and Blackburn Rovers benefactor Jack, and his wife Nora.

A popular choice for weddings, it has won numerous industry awards. In 2010, the hotel transformed its Mr Fred’s Bar and Lounge with a glass extension overlooking the Ribble Valley. In September 2012, the hotel added 18 new bedrooms and a multi-million pound luxury spa opened by Olympian Sir Matthew Pinsent.

Stanley House’s guests have included Robbie Williams, Alfie Boe, David Cameron, Theresa May, Take That, Paul Hollywood, Anton Du Beke, Rick Stein and Jack Whitehall.

Simon Glassbrook, a director of Leehand Leisure, said: “It’s been a wonderful journey and we have helped create thousands of unforgettable memories for our guests. It’s the start of an exciting new era.

“When we opened our doors in 2004, we changed the landscape of the Ribble Valley hotel market. If you look at the sector now, the area has a wonderful range of top-quality venues and I would like to think we have played a part in raising the bar and growing the local market.

“It’s fantastic that jobs have been secured. Our talented teams will ensure the hotel operation has a smooth transition to the new owners. We wish the Issa family every success.”