Luxury spa hotel which includes Marco Pierre White restaurant is closed to guests and cancels all bookings so it can be used to house 250 asylum seekers
- Kegworth’s Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel has stopped taking bookings
- Hotel bosses have signed an ‘exclusive use contract’ with the Home Office
A luxury spa hotel in a rural Leicestershire village has closed to guests and cancelled existing bookings so it can provide accommodation for 250 asylum seekers.
The Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel in Kegworth stopped taking bookings two weeks ago after bosses signed an ‘exclusive use contract’ with the Home Office to house refugees.
Locals have protested over the plans, claiming they were only told about the venue closing just days before the asylum seekers moved in.
It is understood several locally-employed staff have been made redundant as a result of the hotel closing to members of the public.
Rita Pearson, 75, has lived in the village for 42 years and took part in protests outside the hotel last week with her husband Tony.
The Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel in Kegworth stopped taking bookings for the foreseeable future
The hotel, which includes a Marco Pierre White restaurant has been temporarily closed due to an ‘exclusive use contract by the Home Office’
A statement on Marco Pierre White’s (pictured) website stated: ‘Please be advised that the Yew Lodge Hotel in Kegworth, which includes Marco’s New York Italian restaurant has been temporarily closed due to an exclusive use contract by the Home Office’
The retired administrator and grandmother-of-four said: ‘I feel we are too small of a village to house 250 asylum seekers.
‘We know a lot of people that used to work at the Yew Lodge that have been made redundant.
‘We were given hardly any notice about their arrival and so couldn’t really do a lot about it before they came. That is why we are complaining now.
‘The village of Quorn in Leicestershire went through a very similar thing a couple of months ago where one of their hotels was taken over to house asylum seekers, but because they had Jane Hunt the MP living in the village, the decision was overturned.
‘We haven’t got an MP or anyone living here to help us like they did so we feel aggrieved in Kegworth about the situation.’
Local Kegworth resident Tony Pearson, 73, said: ‘There is nothing for them to do here, they have no money and can’t work so I don’t know what they are going to do all day.’
It is understood several locally-employed staff have been made redundant at the hotel (pictured) as a result of the closure to members of the public
Rita’s husband Tony, 73, added: ‘There is nothing for them to do here, they have no money and can’t work so I don’t know what they are going to do all day.’
The first asylum seekers arrived at the hotel at the beginning of the week and it is expected to be full by the weekend.
Mother-of-two Elisabeth Shepherd, 53, said locals were given ‘no notice’ about their arrival, and said that people were ‘frightened, including myself.’
She said: ‘A lot of the villagers use the resources at the hotel such as the gym, pool and restaurant and now we’ve haven’t got anything here to use and will have to tur elsewhere for these facilities.
‘People found out about the asylum seekers moving into the hotel because their gym memberships were instantly cancelled.’
Elisabeth Shepherd, 53, said locals were given ‘no notice’ about the arrival of 250 refugees
Father-of-four Dave Smith, 54, said: ‘Over the last week we have seen quite a few wandering around and personally I just want more information about who they are and what is happening.’
Jane Sutton, 60, said: ‘The ratio [of asylum seekers] is supposed to be one inhabitant to 170 and in Kegworth we’ve got one inhabitant to 17.
‘And there is nothing for them to do here and their arrival has really split the village.
‘Some people have turned really nasty about it all.’
A statement on the Yew Lodge Hotel’s website apologised to guests for any ‘inconvenience’ caused by the closure of the venue and restaurant.
A statement on Marco’s website stated: ‘Please be advised that the Yew Lodge Hotel in Kegworth, which includes Marco’s New York Italian restaurant has been temporarily closed due to an exclusive use contract by the Home Office.’
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The number of people arriving in the UK who require accommodation has reached record levels and has put our asylum system under incredible strain.
‘We engage with local authorities as early as possible whenever sites are used for asylum accommodation and work to ensure arrangements are safe for hotel residents and local people.’
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