North Wales hotel’s royal name change request fails to obtain seal of approval

A North Wales hotel owner’s offer to restore its former royal name did not gain royal approval.

The Gwesty Ty Gorsaf hotel in Blaenau Ffestiniog was once called the Queens hotel before it was changed to Punch Taverns in 2012.

Despite this name change, the Gwynedd Hotel is still affectionately known as the Queens Hotel by many locals.

New owner Matt Henchcliffe, who bought the site this month, wanted to restore the hotel to its old title.

But the request was unfortunately refused by the government’s Companies House on the basis of “protection of the use of the royal word”.

Under the Companies Act 2006 and the Company ad Business Names Regulations 2009 in the UK, limited liability company names are subject to certain restrictions and requirements.

The secondary legislation that specifically governs the use of sensitive words and phrases is the Companies, Limited Liability Companies and Trade Names (Sensitive Words and Phrases) Regulations 2014.

Certain words and phrases are considered “sensitive” because of their potential to mislead, confuse, or offend the general public by suggesting a specific function, affiliation, status or commercial preeminence.

A term considered “sensitive” is Her Majesty, or any other term or name related to the royal family, such as “Queen”.

The use of such words in the name of a Welsh business requires approval from the Welsh government and registered through Companies House.



Queens Hotel was a large community center in Blaenau Ffestiniog

Mr Henchcliffe is now appealing the ruling in a bid to restore the hotel’s old name in homage to its fascinating history.

“The name actually comes from the fact that a man traveled to Australia, made his fortune in a mine and came back to found this hotel,” he told North Wales Live.

“The original name is a reference to the mine in Australia, not the royal title.

“When we went to register the name with Companies House, we were shocked to learn that they had seen it in relation to the copyright of a protected name. We didn’t think that would happen and we must now appeal to have his name change based on his story. “

The hotel’s new owner also revealed that he has big plans to renovate the 200-year-old hotel and make it a hub for the close-knit community of Gwynedd.

He said: “We now have the bar operational, we plan to open the kitchen, restaurant and hotel rooms ready for winter.

“The experience has been relatively positive and good for us so far.



Ty Gorsaf Hotel or ‘Queens Hotel’ is at the heart of the community of Blaenau Ffestiniog

“It’s about bringing it back to life, but also restoring it to its former glory. This hotel is steeped in a fascinating history, still very much alive.

“I hope we can rename it soon because ‘Queens Hotel’ is how it is recognized by the community and visitors. It just bears its original name.”

In response, a spokesperson for Companies House said, “There are rules regarding the use of certain words, such as Queen, and their plural forms in a business or trade name.

“The use of such words requires approval and a letter of no objection from the appropriate body. Information on how to obtain them is available on our website. “


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