Refugees no longer accommodated in luxury hotel near Melton

Scalford Country House Hotel, near Melton EMN-211123-110356001

The Scalford Country House Hotel struck a deal in July to cede its 80 rooms to people who were waiting for their status to be determined by the government.

Hundreds of people have been accommodated at the hotel, it is understood, with strict security in place within the compound.

The arrangement sparked a huge community effort from the local population who donated clothes, toiletries and other provisions to migrants who arrived in the country with virtually no property.

Helen Cliff, charity volunteer, pictured in September with shoes donated to refugees at Scalford Country House Hotel EMN-211123-110421001

The move proved controversial, however, with some guests canceling their short-term bookings, including couples getting married and birthdays.

The hotel said the contract was initially only valid until November and Melton MP Alicia Kearns told the Melton Times this morning (Tuesday): November.

“I can confirm that there will be no extension, the contract is now terminated and the hotel will no longer be used for this purpose.”

The migrants stayed at the hotel for short periods of up to five days before moving to long-term accommodation, if they were allowed to stay, or leaving the country if their request was refused.

Students and staff from Long Field Spencer Academy in Melton, volunteers from the Town Storehouse, and members of local churches were involved in collecting the donated items.

Helen Cliff coordinates donations and collections through the Care4Calais charity and recently told us that she was moved to tears by the plight of the refugees she met at the hotel on numerous visits.

Among the items she delivered with her colleagues were training shoes, coats, jeans, bags, backpacks, playing cards, notepads and pens.

The hotel, which dates back to 1908, was taken over by new owners over two years ago during a major renovation program.

It had a turbulent history in the years leading up to this when it was called Scalford Hall Hotel.

Its operating company went into administration in January 2018, all 35 employees having been made redundant.

But it reopened a week later under a new management company, with the approval of the directors, with employees offered their jobs.

However, stories began to surface in the summer of that year regarding the cancellation of wedding receptions, with couples fearing to lose deposits at the venue and staff leaving after not being paid. .

The hotel, which is set in eight acres of gardens, was built as a hunting lodge by Major Mann Thompson.

He was friends with then-Edward VIII, who is said to have stayed at Scalford Hall frequently with Wallis Simpson.