Lancaster hotel staff face eviction after wages go unpaid

Two former Lancaster hotel workers face eviction this Christmas after claiming the company they worked for failed to pay them.

Thursday, 22nd December 2016, 10:08 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:13 pm
The Kings Arms in Lancaster.

Anne Hamill and her sister, who is 33 weeks pregnant, have not been paid by RKA 2014 Ltd, which ran the Royal Kings Arms Hotel in the city until last week.

The owners of the King Street hotel - Isle of Man based Perla - has since appointed a new a management company called Artisan Hotels, which has asked former staff to re-apply for their jobs. None of the roles or money owed will be automatically transferred across to the new company.

Anne said: “My sister is 33 weeks pregnant and the stress of all this is not good for the baby.

“I am a single mother also in arrears with rent, Council Tax and everything because of it all and on the edge of losing our homes.

“My sister lives above me and has the same landlord, but if we don’t pay rent we don’t get electric as our electric is supplied by cards from our landlord.

“It’s five days before Christmas and we are barely getting by as it is never mind anything else.”

RKA 2014 Ltd is registered to Scott Else, at Constellation House, Amy Johnson Way, Blackpool. RKA Management Services Ltd, which went into liquidation in May 2016 previously ran the Kings Arms. The company was registered at the same address and was run by Mr Else and Jonathan Bromage. Mr Else, along with Jonathan Bromage and Neil Bromage are also directors of Hollyhurst 2015 Ltd, based at the same address.

New managers Artisan Hotels say the takeover marks a new chapter in the hotel’s future.

Despite this, former and existing staff are still allegedly owed thousands of pounds in unpaid wages, with some taking Blackpool based RKA 2014 Ltd to court to get back their money.

Paul Bentley, who runs Vertella Ltd in Lansil Way, which supplies catering equipment to the hospitality industry, said RKA 2014 Ltd still owed his company £800.

He said: “We have taken them to court over a debt, it’s about £800.

It’s just crazy as we had no response from anyone there.

“We only supplied them with one order.”

It is understood other local suppliers are still owed money.

But the new management company - London based Artisan Hotels, which has offices in Mayfair - said it wanted to ensure the Kings Arms regained the trust locally and becomes a key venue for both tourists and the local community.

A spokesman for Artisan Hotels said: “Artisan Hotels Limited are delighted to announce that The Royal Kings Arms is now under new management.

“The change in management marks a new chapter for the Royal Kings Arms Hotel and a complete break from the former management team.

“We are excited to ensure that the hotel becomes a key venue for both tourists and the local community.

“Under the guidance of our general manager, Steven Crabtree, along with his dedicated and experienced team, we look forward to welcoming guests new and old to this historic building.”

No-one from RKA 2014 Ltd was available for comment as the Lancaster Guardian went to press.