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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Adam Laver & Laycie Beck

Hotelier addresses 'speculation' about asylum seekers staying in former Skegness town hall

The public has been assured by the owner of Skegness' former town hall that his plans to turn the building into a hotel will not lead to it being used to house asylum seekers. Taj Bola bought the 97 year old building in 2022 for £600,000 and hopes to turn it into a 57-bed hotel.

This would see the majority of existing offices converted into a mix of bedrooms, which would include five on the Grade II listed building's lower ground floor, 16 on the upper ground floor, 20 on the first and 16 on the second floor. However, over the past six months some of the hotels in the town have been used to house people claiming asylum.

This comes after the government continues to look for locations to house people, including including RAF Scampton and disused cruise ships. Mr Bola, who also owns the Royal Hotel in Skegness, explained that people have been asking him f the new hotel would be housing refugees reports Lincolnshire Live.

Should asylum seekers be housed in hotels? Let us know

He said: "There has been a great deal of speculation that the proposed hotel will be used to house asylum seekers. I can categorically state that this will not be the case.

"We propose to create what will arguably be the finest accommodation on the East Coast. Many of the rooms will be suites and the room sizes will be larger than those offered by the budget chain hotels."

He continued: "Much of the interior of the hotel will be sourced from Dubai and the Far East to create an unrivalled visitor experience. Some rooms will even have their own saunas.

"We intend to raise the bar for accommodation in Skegness and believe The Town Hall Hotel will be a shining example of the direction in we wish to take Skegness in the future." It has been reported that five hotels in Skegness are housing asylum seekers for Serco, including The Leisure Hotel, The Sun Hotel and Chatsworth Hotel.

Matt Warman MP for Boston and Skegness has raised the issue with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak previously. In December 2022, he said: "Two weeks ago more than 350 people attended a meeting in Skegness to discuss the use of five seafront hotels to house asylum seekers.

"They were united in their view that there was a long term economic impact and a pressure on public services. They told me loud and clear that, like the Prime Minister, they think hotels are the wrong place for asylum seekers."

He continued: "Does he agree with me that the government needs urgently to lay out a plan that moves beyond the use of hotels, puts asylum seekers in the right place for them and the right place for coastal communities such as those in Skegness?"

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak responded: "I completely agree with my honourable friend. We are now spending £6million a day housing asylum seekers. Hotels are incredibly expensive and we will urgently bring forth proposals to reduce the pressure but as he knows and as I know the best way to solve this problem sustainably is to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the United Kingdom and that's what this government will deliver."


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