A hotel in Swindon has gone into administration and closed suddenly three months ahead of schedule, resulting in 40 job losses and a string of creditors.
The 60-bedroom South Marston Hotel, which is owned by Paul Cripps and was operated by Focus Hotels, announced in May that it would be closing on 31 October. In February the Mercure branding of the hotel was dropped, five years after Focus Hotels had signed a franchise agreement with AccorHotels to operate the property under the mid-market brand.
However, on 28 July staff were told that the business would be shutting up shop the next day, with the loss of their jobs and many guests being left out of pocket.
A £4,200 wedding for 200 guests, due to take place the day after the hotel closed, went ahead after staff offered to work for no pay. Guests at the wedding of Adam and Amanda Saunders donated money towards the staff's wages.
Insolvency specialist PCR is handling the administration of the hotel. Sam Talby of PCR told The Caterer that it is unlikely that any advance payments for rooms and functions in the hotel and for leisure centre memberships will be refunded.
"We are pleased that we have been able, with the support of the hotel's employees, to honour the booking for a wedding reception but sadly have had to inform all those with future bookings that the company will not be able to honour their bookings," he explained. "We would ask that any parties interested in the company's disposable assets to contact us."
PCR were unable to confirm at the time of going to press whether or not the staff will receive their July salaries.
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