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Sherborne Hotel takeover by Moorfield Group welcomed by town

By mmanning  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

The Sherborne Hotel.

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THE takeover of Sherborne Hotel by Moorfield Group has been welcomed by the town's mayor and chamber of commerce.

The hotel site on Horsecastles Lane was at the centre of a battle between Tesco and local residents after the supermarket giant revealed plans to build a superstore on the plot in December 2011.

Local businesses feared the out of town supermarket would decimate high street trade, and won support from celebrities including Mary Portas and Valerie Singleton.

Serious concerns were also raised about the impact the loss of the hotel would have on the historic town's tourist industry.

Tesco announced last December that it had scrapped its plans to build a store in Sherborne but the future of the hotel remained uncertain.

Sherborne Hotel's vendor Torbeg Ltd last year described the business as unviable and said that operators Hollybush Hotels had entered into administration in 2011.

Moorfield Group announced on Tuesday that it had acquired trade and operations of Sherborne Hotel.

A spokeswoman said the business intended to continue to operate a hotel from the site but was unable to reveal long-term plans.

Moorfield Group's hotels and operations department is led by Heiko Figge, formerly of Guoman and Thistle hotels.

Sally-Ann Kodurand, chairman of Sherborne Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: "The chamber are extremely pleased, and relieved, to hear of the acquisition of the Sherborne Hotel by the Moorfield Group, who have a great deal of experience of investing in well-known hotel and travel brands.

"The primary objective of the 'No to Tesco' campaign was to retain the site for an hotel. It was key to the whole future for tourism and preserving the viability of the town that there was substantial and financially accessible accommodation for visitors, especially for group bookings for those travelling to participate in the many events in the town across the year."

Councillor Dominic Elliott, Mayor of Sherborne, described the acquisition of the hotel by Moorfield Group as "great news for the town".

"Any way to save the hotel is more than welcome. I hope it will thrive in the future," he said.

"Sherborne certainly needs a hotel. It is a tourist destination and would be scuppered without one."

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