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Whitby family acquire historic castle with support from HSBC UK

A Whitby-based family-run business has purchased the historic landmark Sneaton Castle with the support of a seven-figure funding package from HSBC UK.

John Morley, owner of Cross Butts restaurant and hotel, recently purchased Sneaton Castle, located on the outskirts of Whitby, and is now driving forward with plans to transform it into a new luxury hotel and wedding venue on the 297,000 sq. ft. site.

The Morley family established the Cross Butts restaurant and hotel after their dairy farm was affected by ‘foot and mouth’ disease in 2001. After years of rebuilding the farmyard premises, including the renovation of a farmhouse and outbuildings, the family decided to diversify into the high-end restaurant and accommodation market. Sneaton Castle is the family’s second property and their most ambitious project to date.


John Morley, Owner of Cross Butts and Sneaton Castle, said:


“We’ve worked with HSBC UK for over 50 years, with the bank supporting us through some very tough trading conditions during this time. When the opportunity came to purchase Sneaton Castle, HSBC UK was quick to understand the scope of our thinking and match our ambition to create a perfect, fairy-tale wedding and events venue for North Yorkshire. We’re thrilled to be starting this next chapter with the opening of the Castle and hope to welcome the public soon.”


Phil Look, Area Director for West & North Yorkshire, added:


“Over the years the Morleys have been quick to react to a seismic change in their business from farming to hospitality and are now proud to boast one of the most exciting event spaces in the region. Cross Butts is an established destination restaurant and wedding venue, this latest acquisition will enable the family to diversify its business with the unique offering of Sneaton Castle in a spectacular location.”


This deal has been funded as part of HSBC UK’s £14 billion SME fund, with £1.05 billion dedicated to helping Yorkshire businesses realise their ambitions for growth.