Flats plan as Shrewsbury hotel sold to building firm
One of Shrewsbury's premier hotels has been sold to a building firm and will close on New Year's Day.
The Lord Hill Hotel, on Abbey Foregate has been sold, subject to planning, to local developer SY Homes.
The hotel, which includes a 24-bedroom lodge at the rear of the building and extensive car parking, has long been one of Shrewsbury's leading destinations for tourists. It is understood that the site could be turned into three apartment blocks.
Staff at the hotel were told the news earlier this week and the hotel's management are in the process of contacting anyone who has bookings for next year.
It is a family-owned and managed three-star hotel, parts of which date to the early 19th-century and incorporate a Grade 2 listed building.
The hotel is regularly used to host boxing dinners and is a popular venue for weddings and conferences.
Considerable refurbishment has been carried out in recent years but the current owners have experienced difficulties in meeting 'extremely challenging market conditions'.
Current owners Raymond and Vera Proctor said: "It was one of the hardest choices for us to make and the decision to sell has not been easy, however we feel that it is the right time and sadly, the Lord Hill Hotel will cease trading on January 1, 2020. It has been sold, subject to a successful planning application, to a local building company, SY Homes.
"Our staff were the first to be informed and we have spent the past couple of days trying to contact customers who have booked for next year to assist them with re-locating their special event.
"Since we took over the hotel in 2001, it has been a successful business, keeping pace with market expectations and returning reasonable profitability. But, in recent years, there has been a significant downturn in trade, whilst costs have substantially increased.
"This, together with the need for major investment in order to meet the high expectations of our guests is why we have had to make this sad and very difficult decision. Unfortunately, many businesses on the High Street and in our industry are facing similar financial distress and are trying to operate in extremely challenging market conditions.
"We would like to emphasise that we will be trading as normal up until January 1 next year and all guests who have booked with us during that period can expect the level of service and professionalism that we have always offered. Please be assured that any guests who wish to book for future events this year, including Christmas and New Year celebrations, will receive the high standards of hospitality that we have always strived to give.
"Finally, we would like to say a massive thank you to all our customers, suppliers, fantastic staff members, friends and family for their support over the years who have all contributed to some amazing, unforgettable memories."