Two Wisbech hotels close, leaving the Rose and Crown as the only town centre venue

PUBLISHED: 16:40 25 November 2009 | UPDATED: 09:24 02 June 2010

The White Lion Hotel, which has closed its doors.

The White Lion Hotel, which has closed its doors.

TWO of Wisbech s hotels have closed their doors as a shortage of visitors takes its toll - leaving just one town centre venue. The Phoenix Hotel, in North Brink, closed about six weeks ago for refurbishment work, according to a sign in the window. However

wisbech gv. town bridge, bridge street, high street

TWO of Wisbech's hotels have closed their doors as a shortage of visitors takes its toll - leaving just one town centre venue.

The Phoenix Hotel, in North Brink, closed about six weeks ago for refurbishment work, according to a sign in the window. However, there has been no sign of activity.

That was soon followed by the White Lion Hotel across the River Nene, in South Brink, leaving the Rose and Crown in the market place as the last town centre hotel trading.

Elme Hall Hotel, on the outskirts of Wisbech, is also still open for business.

Jonathan Davies, hotelier of the Rose and Crown, feels that more needs to be done to encourage people to visit Wisbech.

But he is confident that he will defy the crunch and expand the hotel that appeared on the Channel 4 show the Hotel Inspector in July.

Mr Davies, who was interested in buying the White Lion about two years ago, said: "For some reason the town is not attracting the visitors we need. Businesses are struggling; there is no question about it.

"A few years ago the Rose and Crown was the one place to hold functions, but now that is not the case. Every village has a hall and we face competition from publicly-funded bodies such as Fenland District Council with the Boathouse Business Centre."

Kevin Smith, president of Wisbech and District Chamber of Commerce, described the hotels' closures as a "major loss" but hopes they will reopen soon.

Mr Smith, who is also manager of the Horsefair Shopping Centre, said: "If these two hotels have closed permanently it is a very sad loss of facilities that we can offer people or visitors in the town. Any facility like that is a major loss.

"People visit the town for events like the Christmas market and the Rose Fair, or are maybe visiting for the first time after watching Dean Spanley which was filmed here and we need to provide places to stay.

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