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West Country hoteliers fall victim to credit crunch

31 July 2008

The owners of a well known West Country hotel have become the latest victims of the credit crunch.

Sebastian and Phillipa Hughes of the Holne Chase Hotel near Ashburton in Devon featured in a 2005 TV reality programme called The Forgotten Farm and were shown converting barns and out-buildings to holiday cottages to supplement their hotel business.

But in May their fortunes were reversed when their bankers Clydesdale Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland put them into administration.

Now Vantis, the administrators, are warning that due to the economic slowdown the realistic price that can be asked for the property, which is leasehold and set in 48 acres of Dartmoor National Park, is just £500,000.

Administrator Nick O'Reilly warned this meant suppliers to the hotel were unlikely to see any of their money back once PAYE and VAT debts had been paid off.

The hotel, which has 20 employees, continues to trade.

Eton Collection keeps rates firm as bookings fall >>

Food cost rises continue to plague restaurant and food service operators >>

Businesses need to analyse how they make money to service slowdown >>

Hospitality operators must offer good value to survive the credit crunch >>

By Andrew Smith

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