Debts force closure of Isles of Scilly St Martin's hotel
A hotel once regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Scilly Isles is about to go into liquidation, leaving local traders thousands of pounds out of pocket and countless visitors without holidays.
Rumours that St Martin's on the Isle Hotel has been struggling have been rife on the islands and the stunningly located beachfront building has been up for sale with a £2 million asking price.
However, in a major blow to the Scillonian tourist industry, it has now been confirmed that the business cannot pay its debts and has ceased trading.
Colin Prescott, of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group, which is handling the liquidation, said a meeting of creditors will be held later this month. He said it appeared the person owed most money was Peter Sykes, the sole shareholder and director of St Martin's on the Isle Ltd, who bought the 30-bedroom establishment in 1993.
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Mr Prescott said: "I believe the majority of local traders are owed a couple of thousand pounds, which, while not ideal, could have been a lot worse."
Mr Prescott urged anyone who had booked a holiday at St Martins on the Isle to contact the company.
"A lot of people have paid deposits and expect to come to the hotel on their holidays.
"However, to date I have not been able to access any of that information so they need to get in touch with me.
"I don't know how many bookings there have been or when they were taken."
The hotel, with its natural appearance as a row of quayside fishermen's cottages, was built in 1989 and sold to Bristol-based businessman Mr Sykes four years later. In 2008 its Tean Restaurant collected a coveted Michelin star.
Anyone who has booked a holiday at the hotel should contact Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group on 0117 929 4900.