Hallmark Hotel Group has acquired Carlisle's Lakes Court Hotel in a deal worth nearly £4m.
The private-equity-backed firm intends to make the hotel the town's first four-star hotel, after buying the Victorian building from city nightlife entrepreneur Ged Crooks.
Crooks will retain ownership of the adjacent Pancho's Mexican restaurant and the Casa nightclub and Ladbroke's betting shop buildings that come with the hotel.
Hallmark is one of a number of hotel operators keen to create Carlisle's first four-star hotel. Kingmoor Park owner Brian Scowcroft is currently working on plans for a 130-bed hotel, restaurant, fitness club and conference facility at the industrial estate, while the owners of the derelict Central Plaza Hotel, on Victoria Viaduct, are also trying to achieve four-star status with the transformation of the disused building.