50 staff at Porthcawl’s Rest Hotel facing redundancy

Almost 50 staff at Porthcawl’s historic Rest Hotel face redundancy later this year, its boss confirmed yesterday.

Rob Gough, chairman of the convalescent hotel’s controlling management board, said had had “sleepless nights” trying to devise a way to make the facility sustainable into the future.

But he confirmed efforts have “failed” and the 150-year-old care facility in the imposing seafront Grade II Rest Bay building will welcome its last guests in October. Its 47 full and part time staff now face redundancy, Mr Gough said.

The news comes 18 months after Mr Gough, a Caerphilly county borough councillor, from Llanbradach, unveiled £10m revamp plans which he said would “secure the future” of the historic building.

The plans – submitted by Caerphilly borough based developers Mayo Property Developments Ltd – finally reached the council’s planning committee last Thursday, and were approved to move on to scrutiny by full council and Cadw.

But Mr Gough said the delay, coupled with a 40% drop in the Rest’s visitor numbers this year, meant the board have had to take the “difficult decision” to cease trading after the summer.

“This is not a decision that has come easy,” he said.

“This was a scheme I came up with to try and secure the future of this building and I feel I have failed to deliver that. It is gut wrenching.

“But even if you gave me half a million pounds that would only keep us going for another year and then we would be need more again.”

Mr Gough said the board have appointed financial consultants Grant Thornton to oversee their winding up process. Redundancies would be handled in the “right and proper way”, he said.

Trustees of the Rest’s controlling charity were set to meet to ratify the closure plans last night.

Next week the building is set to be advertised for sale, with the board seeking to “sell the building and release the assets as soon as is practicable”.

According to Charities Commission guidance, money from the sale would go yet-to-be named beneficiaries “with similar charitable aims”.

Mr Gough’s comments come days after redevelopment plans for the Rest received initial approval by BCBC planners last week.

Mayo Property Developments Ltd’s hope to convert the main building and a new annex into 68 apartments and build a new 38-bedroom convalescent home in the Rest’s grounds.

The application will now have to have to be signed off by Bridgend’s full council and heritage body Cadw.

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/50-staff-porthcawls-rest-hotel-4066280