New owners at Soham Lodge Hotel issue statement on closure
By CATHERINE ATKINSON ANXIOUS brides and partygoers are angry that they have been left wondering if their events at the recently closed Soham Lodge Hotel will ever go ahead. The hotel closed nearly a fortnight ago, and nobody who has booked weddings or p
By CATHERINE ATKINSON
ANXIOUS brides and partygoers are angry that they have been left wondering if their events at the recently closed Soham Lodge Hotel will ever go ahead.
The hotel closed nearly a fortnight ago, and nobody who has booked weddings or parties has yet been contacted to let them know what is happening.
Emma Sheridan and her husband-to-be Rob put down a £500 deposit for their wedding on August 9.
"We've got guests coming up from London and the idea was they would be able to stay over in the hotel," said Miss Sheridan, from Littleport.
"We haven't been able to contact management for more than two weeks, so we started looking round for other venues, but at short notice nowhere was available. It's not so much the financial side of it that bothers me, there are some people that have paid for their whole wedding, but it's the worry that we might not be able to find another venue for that date, and all the invites have already been sent."
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Miss Sheridan has been planning her wedding for months after getting engaged a year and a half ago. She had booked a reception and buffet for 70 guests at the hotel. "We've also booked the chocolate fountain and the DJ to come to that venue on that date," said Miss Sheridan, "and we'd like to be able to let them know what's going on."
After the Ely Standard tracked down the new owners, they agreed to release a statement . It reads: "Any suppliers who are owed money will be asked to write in to a firm of solicitors, with copies of invoices, to establish liabilities. Where deposits have been made for weddings or special occasions, again, they will be asked to send a copy of their receipt to a firm of solicitors, along with a statement of intent. We urge people to come forward quickly as there have been some cases of double bookings. We hope that we can work together with the local community to ensure that future of the hotel is secured."
Former manager John St Clair, owns Soham Lodge Hotel Ltd, but David Lidford, formerly of DGL Services, is still the owner of the freehold until the new owners complete a feasibility study and finalise terms of sale.
A spokesperson for training company DGL Services, who run a training company at the venue, said Soham Lodge had no events scheduled until April 11, and if the sale went through then the new owners hoped to be open for pre-booked events by that date. "It's a fantastic venue, with great potential," he said.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Can you help find a venue for Emma and Rob's big day? Have you been affected by the hotel's recent troubles? Contact the Ely Standard on 01353 667831. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org