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Mystery over Thetford hotel closure

PUBLISHED: 09:52 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 22:01 07 July 2010

A PRIVATELY owned hotel in the centre of Thetford has been mysteriously closed and boarded up - but people have been reassured it shouldn't be for long.

A PRIVATELY owned hotel in the centre of Thetford has been mysteriously closed and boarded up - but people have been reassured it shouldn't be for long.

The Thomas Paine Hotel on White Hart Street is thought to have shut down operations about three weeks ago after a dispute between the owners.

However, neither have been available to speak and mystery surrounds the facts. It is the latest building to close in a town which is fighting hard to improve its reputation and attract new business to the area.

It sits just yards away from the derelict and boarded up former Anchor Hotel but Castle Ward councillor Roy Brame, which includes White Hart Street, believed the situation would resolve itself.

“I'm hoping this is not going to be boarded up for very long,” he said. “They've already cleared all the gardens so they're still working on the site and looking at what to do with it.

“I think it will be very nice when it reopens. It's not as if we have the same problems as before with the Anchor Hotel where it was bought for the wrong reasons.”

There were fears the closure of the hotel could be detrimental to the town however and David Brooks, who runs the Thetford's Tourist Information Centre and 2 New Horizons Travel Agents, said the danger was people would bypass Thetford looking for accommodation elsewhere in places such as Attleborough, Norwich and Cambridge.

“It's always strange when I talk to people as I don't think they realise how many tourists are in the town,” he said. “If we've lost another good size hotel people are going to look outside the town and if it is a family dispute it's a real shame.

“Thetford is as well placed as any to make the most of tourism and we've got a real opportunity to maximise on short term stays but we need places like the Thomas Paine to be open to do that.”

Thetford Town Council Clerk Ed Chambers added: “What we're looking at the moment is a blot on the landscape.

“There are now going to be fewer beds in the town. It's not a good thing to see.”

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