Belfast Telegraph

Bangor hotel 'not closing' despite financial issues

By Ryan McAleer

The man behind a restaurant and boutique hotel in Bangor has said they will remain open despite the company that owns one of them going into liquidation.

Kenneth Sharp, who runs The Salty Dog hotel and The Boat House restaurant, said yesterday that his seafront establishments will not be closing despite the taxman initiating a winding-up order on one of the properties.

The order concerns Saline Canine Ltd, the company that owns The Salty Dog on Seacliff Road.

However, he told the Belfast Telegraph that a new company will be taking ownership of the hotel, and maintained nothing would be changing for staff and customers.

"Saline Canine Ltd, which is the company going into liquidation, is just one of the companies that I'm involved with and it's not affecting The Salty Dog. The Salty Dog is continuing to run with another company in charge.

"This is a transfer of a going concern. All vouchers are being honoured, all staff TUPE contracts are being honoured, all the things that need to be done to keep staff and customers happy are happening."

Mr Sharp said he believed he had put "a good proposal" to HMRC to resolve the issue, but it was not accepted.

Accounts lodged by Saline Canine for the year ending March 31, 2017, showed the company had a turnover of £1m, but recorded a pre-tax loss of £222,745.

Its biggest cost was £514,000 for wages and salaries.

The report also shows the firm's tax and social security cost was just over £150,000.

A public notice recently confirmed the winding up petition was first presented on November 7 by HMRC, as one of the Saline Canine's creditors.

The petition is due to be heard at Belfast's High Court on Thursday.

"I still believe there is a business here," said Mr Sharp.

"It's not easy, we maybe missed some targets we had set.

"The increased development in Belfast, the degree of uncertainty around Brexit and consumer spending softening hasn't helped the situation. But we certainly believe the company is worth maintaining."

Originally from Glasgow, Mr Sharp moved to Northern Ireland 13 years ago to manage the Culloden Estate and Spa.

In 2012 he opened The Salty Dog and four years later took over The Boat House in November 2016.

Belfast Telegraph

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