Estate hotel hit by credit crunch

Alasdair McGregorThe economic crisis has claimed its latest victim after operations at a hotel on the Somerleyton estate were suspended.Fritton House owner Hugh Crossley revealed tough trading conditions during the last quarter of 2008 and a pessimistic forecast for 2009 were at the root of the decision announced today.Alasdair McGregor

The economic crisis has claimed its latest victim after operations at a hotel on the Somerleyton estate were suspended.

Fritton House owner Hugh Crossley revealed tough trading conditions during the last quarter of 2008 and a pessimistic forecast for 2009 were at the root of the decision announced today.

Mr Crossley, the son of Lord and Lady Somerleyton, said the decision had not been taken lightly and was necessary to protect the sustainability of the business.

He added: 'The estate's long-term ambition remains focused on developing Fritton House, which would give us the economies of scale needed to ensure robust levels of profitability.


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'However, having failed to win vital planning consent at the end of last year and with the worsening economic climate, I am clear this is the best mid-term strategy for the long-term viability of the business.

'Like practically every business today, we have to react to the effects of the global downturn.'

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The nine-bedroom hotel will remain available for hire for weddings, private and corporate events, and private lettings. A core team of staff will remain to support the events business.

Meanwhile, Mr Crossley has stressed those with existing hotel bookings would receive full refunds.

He added: 'We would like to thank all the guests and diners that have supported the hotel over the past three years and to remind them that it is business as usual at our sister operation, the Duke's Head in Somerleyton…'

Fritton House will be available for private hire from next month. For more information, call 01493 484006 or email events@somerleyton.co.uk

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