Burnley's Crow Wood Leisure owner backs Government coronavirus lockdown as he closes popular complex
Andrew Brown, who runs the extensive Crow Wood Leisure facility, which added a luxury hotel to its portfolio last October which also includes the award-winning Woodland Spa, spoke to the Express about the pressures on himself and his 280 staff.
"It's a very difficult situation. The Government is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't," Mr Brown said. "We are in unchartered waters and only history will teach us if the current course of action is the right one.
"Since the new hotel opened we were making £1.2m. in sales each month. That has obviously now gone to nothing. We've paid our staff in full for March and will be claiming the 80% from the Government going forward.
"All our suppliers have also been paid and we have guaranteed that no-one will be laid off in the next two months. Beyond that, we just don't know. We empoy 280 mainly local people with a full-time equivalent of around 175.
"Business was booming so it is so sad for everyone, including Burnley's local economy, that this is happening. However, in recent views our corporate bookings had quite obviously slowed down."
Mr Brown closed the lesiure part of the complex on Friday and the hotel today following Government announcements.
He added that he felt the knock-on effect of the closure would impact lots of other businesses.
"We were selling 5,000 meals a week, so obviously that will impact on our wholesalers as well. We had hundreds of people booked in for Mother's Day but that had to be cancelled.
"Let us hope for everyone's sake that a vaccine can be found and we can return to normal soon. The world has to keep going," he said.