NORTHWICH’S iconic Floatel has been closed after its parent firm Real Hotel Company went into administration this week.
The UK’s only purpose-built floating hotel on the River Weaver, next to London Road and the Bull Ring, has been an integral part of the town for decades.
But after a “business review” by administrators, the decision has been taken to close the Floatel along with three other hotels in the group.
As a result of the four closures, including hotels in Thetford, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Newcastle-under-Lyme, 150 staff have been made redundant.
A brief answer machine message, left on Wednesday afternoon by manager David McGing, revealed that the Floatel would cease trading as a consequence of the Real Hotel Company falling into administration.
Administrators BDO Stoy Hayward are now seeking a buyer for the firm in an attempt to save jobs and other branches of the hotel group across the UK.
Partner Shay Bannon said: “The group has experienced deterioration in trading during the last quarter of 2008 with this trend accelerating into the first two weeks of January, which resulted in severe cash flow pressures.
“It is regrettable that we have had to close a small number of hotels but we continue to trade a significant number of hotels with the support of stakeholders and will be actively marketing the group for sale.
“We have already received several expressions of interest and are confident of a successful outcome which will save a significant number of jobs.”
The Real Hotel Company Ltd and its associated subsidiaries operate more than 50 hotels across Europe, with 40 in the UK together with 2 offices. The group employs approximately 1,200 people in the UK.
It has not been confirmed how many jobs will be lost as a result of the Floatel closing.