Winter shutdown

The East Neuk hotel formerly owned by the parents of radio DJ Edith Bowman for over 40 years looks set to close next month, after bosses decided seasonal opening was the best way to safeguard the business.

The director of the company which owns the Craw’s Nest in Anstruther said the decision to close in October and re-open in March was an “extremely difficult one” to make.

The Symphony Craw's Nest Hotel in Anstruther

The Symphony Craw's Nest Hotel in Anstruther

Several local clubs became aware the popular hotel was closing after they were advised to seek alterative venues for meetings from next month onwards.

Yesterday (Tuesday) the director of Symphony Hotels and Leisure Ltd, Mike Sheffield, said: “Potential closure which may involve a risk of redundancy in any business is a very emotive and delicate process.

“Throughout this process, which began on August 1, the utmost consideration has been given to the effect it will have on the employees.

“The consultation process is coming to an end, and a decision has been taken that the hotel will close temporarily during the winter ‘off’ season.”

He went on to say the hotel will re-open at the beginning of the 2015 summer season.

“We have never stopped taking bookings for next year and... we have considerable bookings to do with the 2015 Open Golf, along with associated group business throughout the year.

“The closure date is around the end of October. The hotel has had a good summer season, with September and October still showing excellent occupancy due to our company marketing and contacts within our industry.

“The hotel is also benefiting from Ryder Cup trade that my Perth Hotels could not accommodate.”

Mr Sheffield added: “Changing the hotel operation to a ‘seasonal’ operation has been taken due to the continual down turn in ‘off season’ business.

“Many hotel companies operate in this way to safeguard the business as a whole.

“This decision has been an extremely difficult one to make and one I have been considering for two years now.

“I must also confirm that the employees have been given priority during the consultation period – I have looked at re-deployment where possible and have also personally made enquiries to contacts I have in my industry to secure interviews for them.”

Last September the Craw’s Nest went on the market seeking offers of £1million. According to selling agents Colliers International, it remains up for sale with a price tag of £800,000.

The hotel, which was bought from the Bowman/Clark family in 2006, has 50 en-suite bedrooms, two bars, meeting room, restaurant, function room and well-maintained gardens.