It's full steam ahead for Paignton's two new seafront hotels.
Construction giants Midas, who had been building the hotels, have finally gone into administration after months of speculation about its future.
But within less than 24 hours of the announcement, international hotel developers the Fragrance Group revealed they had appointed new contractors for the sites with Devon and Cornwall construction firm Brady Construction Services Limited moving in immediately.
It was feared the prime waterfront sites could remain dormant for months but the speedy appointment of new contractors is a huge vote of confidence in the Bay by the Fragrance Group and its Singapore-based billionaire owner James Koah.
It is understood Fragrance are also still fully committed to developing their other former hotel sites at the Palace and Corbyn Head in Torquay.
The news has been welcomed by Torbay Council who are locked in talks with contractors to make sure work can recommence on the Harbour View Premier Hotel that Midas were building on The Terrace in Torquay..
A statement from the Fragrance Group said: "Following news of Midas going into administration, the Fragrance Group has taken possession of its two new hotel developments on Paignton seafront with immediate effect.
"The Fragrance Group has confirmed it has appointed Brady Construction Services Limited to complete work on its two hotels which, on completion, will be operated by the Accor Group.
After a three-month period of limited progress, work is expected to resume within a matter of weeks on the multi-million pound developments, located on the neighbouring sites of the former Park Hotel and Lighthouse Club."
Martin Rogers, the UK representative for the Fragrance Group said: "“We are pleased to have appointed Brady Construction as the contractors to complete our exciting hotel projects and our aim will be to complete both hotels this year.
"Despite the difficulties that we faced, our commitment to deliver these two new hotels to the Torbay seafront, creating the much-required vibrancy to the Bay area, as well as new job opportunities, remains unchanged.”
James Brady, Director of Brady Construction, said: “‘We are thankful for the opportunity to be working with the Fragrance Group to complete these landmark projects. I am deeply saddened by the news of Midas and all those affected, and we will be working hard over the coming weeks to safeguard the employment of the existing site team and supply chain where possible”.
The two new hotels will create more than 275 new bedrooms alongside a range of other facilities including restaurants, a gym and a spa.
Once completed, both hotels will be operated by the globally renowned Accor group. The larger 161-bedroom hotel on the site of The Park Hotel will be branded as a Mercure, while the 117-bed hotel next door will be an Ibis Styles.
The Fragrance Group is investing in excess of £30 million in Paignton alone, which will translate into around 100 new jobs for local people and a major boost for the local economy.
Torbay Council leader Steve Darling said: "This is very welcome news. We have been proactive before Midas hit the buffers to protect the public purse on the Harbour View hotel project and we have been having very positive conversations with sub-contractors who have been working on the site."
Council deputy leader Darren Cowell said he was saddened by the demise of Midas but added the Paignton development was 'brilliant news'.
"It shows how committed Fragrance are to delivering these hotels and it is a big vote of confidence in the sense of direction the Bay is moving."
Administrators have confirmed that all of Midas' construction operations have "ceased with immediate effect" with 303 workers made redundant
Richard Hawes and Matt Smith, senior managing directors at Teneo Financial Advisory Limited, have been announced as joint administrators.
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