Sale rescues historic hotel

MORE than 80 jobs have been secured after administrators sealed a deal to sell off an historic Ipswich hotel. The Belstead Brook Hotel, in Belstead Road, was formerly part of the Swallow Hotels Group which was placed in administration in September.

MORE than 80 jobs have been secured after administrators sealed a deal to sell off an historic Ipswich hotel.

The Belstead Brook Hotel, in Belstead Road, was formerly part of the Swallow Hotels Group which was placed in administration in September.

Following an uncertain couple of months for around 80 staff based there, administrators have clinched a deal to sell the hotel as part of a package of 13 hotels in the group.

The new owners, Crerar Hotels, part of the Northern British Trust Group, already run eight hotels in the north of England and Scotland. Also among the 13 former Swallow properties acquired from the administrators is the Churchgate Hotel at Old Harlow, in Essex.

Peter Bartlett, manager of the Belstead Brook Hotel, said of the sale yesterday: “It is fantastic news. It means that the future of the hotel is now secure.

“What exactly it means will come to fruition when I have a conversation with the new owners about investment and product improvement.

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“We have always been very confident that this sale would happen. We have got a fabulous hotel which is very successful and it has simply been a question of time but that time has been uneasy for a lot of the staff.

“However, they have stuck by it and demonstrated their commitment to it and been absolutely superb.”

All 671 sites of the London and Edinburgh Swallow Group, employing 7,300 people, initially continued to trade after going into administration in September.

Within two weeks' administrators Ernst and Young had sold 240 sites, securing the jobs of some 2,500 people.

However, 220 jobs were lost when the decision was taken to close five hotels and 15 managed pubs at the end of September.

Other former Swallow properties in East Anglia sold by the administrators include the Cornwallis Country Hotel at Brome, near Eye, the George Hotel in Colcehster, the Riverside Hotel, Mildenhall, the Rutland Arms Hotel, Newmarket, the Suffolk Hotel Golf & Leisure Club at Fornham St Genevieve, near Bury St Edmunds, and the Scole Inn, near Diss.