A recent health and safety inspection at a popular hotel in North Belfast has caused the business to close its doors and all staff to be laid off until improvement work is carried out.
The Lansdowne Hotel, which is owned by Metro Inns, shut immediately after the inspection brought to light a number of ‘serious’ issues, with staff then called to an emergency meeting and told not to return until a refurbishment is completed.
It is not known however when this renovation will be carried out, with bosses saying that it is ‘impossible to judge the length of closure of the business’ due to the seriousness of the safety issues involved.
A statement released by the Lansdowne Hotel last week also called into question the future of the property’s ownership under Metro Inns, saying that when it reopens, it is not known whether it will continue to operate within the brand.
The statement read: “On the 11th April 2018, The Lansdowne Hotel called an emergency meeting with all staff members to inform them that effective immediately the hotel would be shut for major refurbishment. This refurbishment was originally scheduled for early summer but had to be brought forward due to immediate health and safety concerns following a recent Environmental Inspection.
“Due to the seriousness of the safety issues involved, extensive investigations and work will have to be carried out and as such, it is impossible to judge the length of closure of the business. Due to this, all staff have to be laid off and when the hotel reopens for operation, those staff members will automatically be contacted to resume their duties.
“The Northern Ireland regional director has suffered from serious ill health since summer 2017 and this has had an impact on the level of standard at The Lansdowne Hotel.
Due to the director’s ongoing issues, they will step down formally from their role and will not be continuing at the Lansdowne Hotel in the future. At this time, it is not known if the Lansdowne Hotel, when reopened, will operate under its former Metro Inns banner.”
The hotel was bought by English budget chain Metro Inns in 2012 for around £700,000 after it went out of business when the former owners Welcome Hotels entered administration.