A leading hotel in Hampshire has announced its shock closure with the loss of 21 jobs.
The 60-bedroom Lyndhurst Park Hotel is due to shut early next year, as the owners say the business is no longer profitable.
The three-star hotel was only purchased in April by St James’s Hotel Group, after the collapse of Forestdale in March 2014, but will now close its doors for good at the start of 2015.
A statement from the owners said that an offer had been made to acquire the four-acre site for redevelopment, but they did not disclose who the new owners would be.
The statement said: “Unfortunately, the hotel has continued to lose money this year. It is an old building in a poor state of repair which would require huge amounts of further investment to bring it up-to-date and give it a viable future as a hotel,” said Nicholas Crawley, managing director of St James’s Hotel Group.
“We have, therefore, accepted an offer for the purchase of the site which is likely to result in the total redevelopment of the site and the opening of some new type of serviced holiday accommodation.
“We have already informed all staff that their current positions will cease to exist and we are working with them to find alternative roles within the group where possible.”
He added: “While it is sad to see the demise of this landmark hotel, it enjoys a prominent location at the entrance to the New Forest and we believe that the redevelopment of the site will bring major benefits to the town.”
Local tourism leaders have also spoken out over the loss of the hotel, indicating that it could be a serious blow to the area’s tourism industry, which is worth almost £500m.
Speaking to the Daily Echo, Steve Lorton, vice chairman of the New Forest Tourism Association, said: “It’s a bit of a surprise – there was no indication that anything like this was on the cards.
“The loss of any serviced accommodation in the Forest is something we wouldn’t want to see.”