Million-pound boost for historic hotel

A MILLION-pound investment to revamp one of Suffolk’s most iconic hotels has been announced in a bid to turn around the fortunes of an ailing riverside business.

The future of The Mill Hotel in Sudbury, which overlooks the town’s ancient flood meadows, has been in doubt since the previous owners Elizabeth Hotels went into administration last year.

But now Surya Hotels – a branch of the global Surya food group – has laid out ambitious plans to turn it into one of East Anglia’s premier visitor destinations.

Gez Chetal, director of operations, said: “What you expect to see in a five-star hotel in London will soon be here in Sudbury within this beautiful setting.

“When we came to visit earlier this year we knew immediately it was a business we wanted to take on and we plan to make it a major asset for the region.”

The owners were forced to start the refurbishment programme, which will see the exterior and interior completely revamped, within hours of buying it on August 31 when they discovered the ground floor of the 17th Century building had flooded. Surya’s managing director Suki Dulai said the hotel needed major work to regain its former glory.

“It has a unique, historic charm and we aim to play a part in bringing more people to Sudbury,” he said.

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Surya bought the hotel off Ipswich-based Elizabeth Hotels Ltd, owned by Suffolk property entrepreneur Richard Cattermole, which went into administration last December together with sister companies Cavendish Hotels Ltd and Elizabeth Estates (BS) Ltd.

The three businesses in administration form part of Mr Cattermole’s Ryan Elizabeth Holdings group. However, the holding company itself, and around 30 other subsidiaries, including the Hotel Elizabeth Orwell in Felixstowe, are not in administration.

Mr Ghetal said that the investment would not only safeguard existing jobs but would also create more jobs in the town.

“We will be using as many local producers as possible in our kitchen and the architects and builders in charge of the construction work are all from the local area,” he added.