Wroxham hotel future in doubt

The future of one of Norfolk's best known boutique hotels has been cast in doubt after the company behind it went into administration.

Laccone Ltd, which operated the Broad House Hotel in Wroxham, appointed administrators Baker Tilly in December after a previous agreement to repay debts totalling �3.8m was breached.

Joint administrators Graham Bushby and Nigel Millar, of Baker Tilly, said the hotel continued to trade normally while new buyers were sought.

All functions booked in the busy Christmas period had gone ahead, they added, and the hotel is expected to reopen later in the month after closing for two weeks as planned for the quiet New Year period.

As previously reported, Laccone entered a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) - an agreement to repay creditors over a set period - in September 2009 after running up debts totalling about �3.8m, including �2.6m to bankers Lloyds TSB.

But the CVA was terminated last October after the company failed to keep up with repayments to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

A statement from Baker Tilly said: 'Graham Bushby and Nigel Millar of Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery are the appointed joint administrators of Laccone Limited which operates the Broad House Hotel since December 13 2010.'

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Joint administrator Nigel Millar added: 'The hotel has continued to trade normally under our control and all functions booked for over the festive period have taken place.

'While the hotel is now shut for the post holiday period, we are in negotiations with potential buyers and are hopeful of securing a sale in the near future.'

The administrators have not confirmed how many staff were employed by Laccone or whether any redundancies had been made, and it is unclear whether the premises is likely to remain as a hotel or be used for another purpose.

The 16th century, nine-bed hotel, based in 24 acres of parkland, was launched in 2007 by director Philip Search and his wife Caroline.

The hotel has secured a number of awards, including being named the UK's best small hotel for customer service at the HRS.com Hotel Excellence Awards in January 2010 and small hotel of the year at the 2009 Enjoy England Awards for Excellence.