Hotel once owned by Deep Purple singer to close

03 February 2014 by
Hotel once owned by Deep Purple singer to close

An Oxfordshire hotel once owned by Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan is to close, prompting the town mayor to lament the lack of hotel bed spaces available in the area.

Svenia and Paul Franklin, current owners of the Springs hotel near Wallingford, Oxfordshire, blamed the cost of maintaining the building for the demise of the business, and said that as well as online travel agents (OTAs) offering discounts are eating into their profits.

The 32-bedroom hotel, which features a guitar-shaped swimming pool, will close in October but the golf club at the site will continue to operate, reported the Oxford Mail.

The news has disappointed Wallingford mayor Bernard Stone, who said the town needs more hotel rooms and described the Springs' closure as a blow to tourism in the area.

"The town council will now talk to economic development officer Suzanne Malcolm about what could be done to attract a hotel chain to the area. There are some good places to stay in Wallingford but the town is quite short of hotel bed spaces," he said.

Svenia Franklin said that the decision to close the hotel had not been taken lightly and was influenced by several factors.

"The hotel industry has struggled over the last few years," she said. "We have persevered, but sadly it is a market in which we can no longer compete. Our costs are continuously increasing and one of the main factors is that we are working with a very old building whose condition is deteriorating.

Rock singer Ian Gillan bought the mock Tudor building in 1973 for £100,000 and invested £443,000 of their own money into its restoration.

The Franklins bought the country property, which was built in 1874 and named after the seven springs that feed a pond in the grounds, in 1995,

There are no plans to sell the hotel as a business, which Mrs Franklin said would cost a "few million pounds" to properly renovate it as a hotel, and the couple has not yet decided what to do with the building.

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