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Hotel Deals

August 7, 2013
The Bridlington Free Press 01.08.13 reports on ERYC’s planned hotel.
This is presented as good news, why is that ?

As a local developer put it so well; “If a new hotel in Bridlington were viable, don’t you think we would have built it by now?”

The council through its AAP seeks to make theirs viable by reducing the number of beds offered in existing hotels and guesthouses. Yes, you read that right. Just like ERYC’s proposed Burlington Parade, it is only possible by deliberately closing down existing local businesses.
And just like the Burlington Parade, the money generated will not stay and be spent in the local economy, but will go out of town to boost the profits of a national chain.
That is a double economic hit. Then consider that the boarding houses will be converted to more flats, bringing all their associated social and economic problems, and you have serious cause for concern.

So, why would any council-led regeneration deliberately close down local businesses rather than provide support and conditions for them to thrive?
The Spa, which was refurbished at a staggering £20.5 million, and went some £8.5 million over budget, has yet to earn its keep. Only after opening did they discover that whenever trying to sell the facilities to conference and event organisers, the first question is “Which hotel chain(s) do you use?”
So, the hotel is needed to bring in conference business to offset the council’s £500,000 + per year taxpayer-funded losses.

The Council claim The Spa brings in hundreds of thousands of pounds into the local economy. That is how the annual subsidy is justified to councillors whilst other budgets are slashed and essential services cut. Conferences can extend the season. But the building is too small for most and competition for the rest has increased in recent years. Are they now trying to change the town to meet the needs of The Spa, having apparently restored The Spa to meet the needs of the town? Why has no attempt been made to improve guesthouse standards and work with local businesses on joint booking and marketing?

One thing is certain, the information needed to see if the figures add up is ‘commercially sensitive’ so we won’t get to see it, meaning there can be no public scrutiny.

So many questions need to be answered, but we are simply expected to trust in vague assurances from the very people who many feel have already got it so spectacularly wrong.Image


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