Historic hotel in Sutton Bridge gets new lease of life

Ready for a revamp: The 19-bedroom Bridge Hotel at Sutton Bridge was picked up at a property auction for just �195,000.
Ready for a revamp: The 19-bedroom Bridge Hotel at Sutton Bridge was picked up at a property auction for just �195,000.

It could be refurbished and re-open in February as a “classy establishment”.

Holbeach hotelier and property developer Mark Andrews paid a bargain £195,000 at auction for the 19-bedroom period property, under the noses of the Bridge for Heroes charity.

The charity failed to bid for the hotel on November 25, claiming it was “not fit” for the purpose intended – providing week-long breaks for servicemen and their families.

But Mark, who runs the Chequers and Bell hotels in Holbeach with wife Chony and has extensive property holdings in Essex and South Holland, is delighted with his latest purchase.

He said: “It’s a big place with a huge restaurant, some fine rooms, a stunning ladies’ powder room and lots of scope.

“Times aren’t good right now but they’re going to get better.

“Within the next five years there’s going to be a marina at Sutton Bridge and a lot of development at the two local power stations.

“Before things start happening I’m going to invest in getting the hotel up and running and I’m sure its value will go up.

“We’ll open at the end of February as we mean to go on – as a classy establishment with a good English and Thai restaurant open seven days with a carvery on Sundays and 18-plus disco every week on a Friday or Saturday night.

“About half the bedrooms will be fit to use by then and refurbishment work will continue through to mid-April.”

Mark runs discos for different age groups at The Chequers, Holbeach every other week.

He plans to keep those at The Bridge Hotel inexpensive with good DJs and great music, to give local youngsters somewhere to go in the evenings.

But he insists there will be doormen in attendance at all times to ensure the clientele is respectable and well-behaved.

He said: “There’s no nightclub or disco or anything like what we’re planning in and around Long Sutton.

“At the moment anyone who wants a clubbing night out has to go to Spalding or King’s Lynn, and in both cases there’s quite a way to go.

“We’re confident that people will be keen to come to the Bridge Hotel.”

Managing director of the Bridge for Heroes charity, Michael Taylor, said that following discussions with his trustees and the Ministry of Defence he’d decided not to bid because too much money would need to be spent to bring the building up to scratch.

As well as hotel accommodation, Mr Taylor had announced he wanted to provide a 200-seat cinema, a museum, a military library, tea room, gym, sauna, creche and function room.