castle
Sneaton Castle, on the outskirts of Whitby, has been purchased by Cross Butts restaurant and hotel owner John Morley.
Jane Imrie

Whitby castle to be transformed into ‘luxury’ hotel with seven-figure HSBC funding

A historic landmark in North Yorkshire has been acquired by a local family-run business with backing from HSBC UK.

Sneaton Castle, on the outskirts of Whitby, has been purchased by Cross Butts restaurant and hotel owner John Morley, who has plans to transform the site into a new ‘luxury’ hotel and wedding venue.

Former dairy farm owner John established Cross Butts after his dairy farm was impacted by ‘foot and mouth’ disease.

The purchase of the 297,000 sq ft site will enable the family to build on its hospitality knowledge, as well as fulfil its ambitions to create a ‘fairy-tale’ wedding venue for the area.

John Morley, owner of Cross Butts and Sneaton Castle, commented: “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, HSBC UK 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.”

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