Former Margate Woolworths store bought for £1.98million by Sands Hotel bosses

The former Woolworths store in Margate High Street has been bought for £1.98 million.

The store closed following the collapse of the historic Woolworths company in 2008.

It  was bought by Brede Estates Limited on September 20 this year, documents now published on the Land Registry website reveal.

According to Companies House Brede Estates directors are Sands Hotel owner Nick Conington and John Adams, who – along with Mr Conington –  is also a director of Nayland Rock Hotel Margate Ltd.

Brede Estates Limited was incorporated on June 30, this year.

Sands Hotel

Mr Conington ([pictured) bought the Sands Hotel site in 2011 through company SouthEast Retail – which lists both Mr Conington and Mr Adams as directors – receiving a £500,000 grant from the government’s Expansion East Kent scheme to help with the project.

Initially the site was going to be used for luxury flats but after discovering the property had originally been a hotel at the end of the 19th century, the plans changed to bring it back to its former use.

A charge registered to Charles Whitbread, of the Whitbread  brewing family, for a £500,000 loan to SouthEast Retail was paid in full by February this year.

The hotel has 34 employees. In December 2016 net liabilities of £947,023 were being carried, according to accounts lodged with Companies House for Margate Sands Hotel Ltd. A notice for compulsory strike off action against that company last December was discontinued the same month.

However, the company also had a turnover of £1.3million, comparable to the previous year (2015) although a loss of £242,986 is recorded at year end of 2016 before tax.


Mr Conington and Mr Adams were also directors of Sands Heritage Ltd, operator of Dreamland, but resigned the roles in May 2017 while it was in administration.

Sands Heritage went into administration in May 2016 – just under a year after the company reopened the amusement park.

The company suffered financial difficulty at the end of 2015 when it entered a voluntary debt plan after being hit with a net loss of £5 million and owing bills of £2,893,128.

In May 2016 Benjamin Wiles and Paul Williams, Managing Directors of Duff & Phelps, were appointed Joint Administrators of Sands Heritage Ltd, trading as Dreamland.

The operating company is now completely owned by Arrowgrass Capital Partners which has pumped some £30million into the park and the purchase of surrounding properties. The operator exited administration last month.


  1. Not another pub hopefully, there are plenty of those already. Margate needs some retail business to bring shoppers back to the lower part of the high street.

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