SPANISH hotel company Barcelo has pulled out of running the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.
The firm has announced that it is withdrawing entirely from the UK, terminating its leases to run 21 hotels owned by Puma Hotels, including The Majestic.
Barcelo, which signed a 45-year lease in 2007 to run the group of hotels, will pay Puma a penalty of £20m for the early withdrawal.
The move is attributed to a fall in business caused by the recession. Barcelo had asked for a drop in the rent it paid Puma to run the hotels, but ultimately opted to end the contract.
Other hotels in the group include the Lygon Arms in Worcestershire, The Imperial in Torquay and the Hinkley Island Hotel in Leicestershire.
The lease will be formally terminated on April 25.
Running of the hotels will then transfer back to Puma, which ran them prior to the 2007 deal with Barcelo.
The Harrogate Advertiser is seeking further information from Barcelo, but a hotel source has indicated that it will be business as usual at The Majestic, despite the change of operator.