Mystery over future of Newport's iconic Royal Victoria Hotel after doors close
Newport's iconic Royal Victoria Hotel has shut – and there is no indication of when it might reopen again.
It is understood the tenants of the building in St Mary's Street have handed the keys to the building back to owners Marston's and the building is back up for lease.
A Marston's spokeswoman confirmed the hotel was closed temporarily but did not say how many staff were affected or if they have lost their jobs.
She added: "We will reopen the pub as soon as a new tenant is in place."
Police officers have visited the hotel to make sure the site is secure.
West Mercia Police spokeswoman Abbey Hartley said: "We have spoken to the people looking after the premises.
"They have made it secure and there doesn't appear to be any issues."
A member of the public who had turned up at the hotel trying to get in, said members of staff had not been paid last month's wages.
Shoppers using the hotel car park to get into town have also been trying to get in to pay for their tickets.
Spokesman for C.A.R Nationwide Ltd, which is in charge of security at the site, said: "We had a call from somebody who thought somebody who was staying at the hotel had broken in to get something he had left.
"The police searched the site but could not find anybody in there at first – but in the end we found him and the site is safe."
Telford & Wrekin Councillor Eric Carter, who is chairman of the Newport Regeneration Partnership, said he wanted to talk to Marston's to discuss its plans for the site.
He said: "There has been rumours and speculation for some time that it has been struggling.
"You only had to go in there at any time of the week and you had a job finding anybody in there.
"It has been underused in the last few years and I would not be surprised if there were difficulties.
"Saying that, I would not want it to close, it is our prime, number one, hotel facility but it has not lived up to that in recent years.
"It is a vital part of our town and our history but has been having difficulties and it needs to be dealt with and we need to find how we could run it successfully.
"We would love to have a conversation with the brewery to see what its medium and long term plan is.
"It is a fantastic building, it is an icon in the town and we want to see it preserved and see it working successfully"
It had long been thought the hotel was struggling and rumours have also circulated that J D Wetherspoon was interested in the site.
A spokesman for the chain said of the Royal Victoria Hotel: "Wetherspoons is interested in the town but has not looked at this site, though it could be of interest."
The Grade II listed hotel has a history dating back to 1830 and was named after a visit by the then Princess Royal and her mother in 1832.
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