Eastbourne hotel fire: Authorities rally together to give staff support before Christmas

The town is rallying together to support staff affected by the Claremont Hotel fire before Christmas.

Monday, 25th November 2019, 1:41 pm
Updated Monday, 25th November 2019, 5:22 pm
The Claremont. Eastbourne hotel fire. Picture: Jon Rigby SUS-191123-122133001

The Eastbourne Hospitality Association (EHA), Eastbourne BID, Visit Eastbourne, Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce and People Matter are working together to help get the hotel staff back into employment – and provide support to more than 70 affected tourists.

They also want to stress that the town is ‘still open’ for business.

Kristian Hayter, vice-chairman of EHA, said, “It is amazing we have come through this without any fatalities.

The Claremont. Eastbourne hotel fire. Picture: Jon Rigby SUS-191123-122244001

“We have reached out to local authorities to create a partnership which will come together to support staff and guests at the Claremont.

“Our main concern now is with the staff. Christmas time is around the corner. Staff will be paid in the short term, but one of the things we really want to do is get them options with local employers.”

The Claremont Hotel fire saw the Grade II listed building go up in flames on Friday (November 22) and emergency services have been working around the clock to ensure the area is safe to the public.

Mr Hayter said, “Initially after the fire what the EHA did was provide 160 bed spaces. People who were taken to the Town Hall were then able to be re-housed. I think that is a pretty impressive community effort.

“We are now looking to see who has been affected from a staff point-of-view. They will be supported free of charge. Eastbourne is still open as usual.”

Dave Brachtvogel, former chairman of EHA, said, “Obviously, it is going to affect the town. But, remembering back to the pier fire it brought a lot of people here and I can see that happening again.

“I would really hope the owners of the property do their upmost to reinstate and rebuild it to what it was. It is going to be years rather than months I feel.

“A lot of people come to Eastbourne because of the way the seafront is looked after. It would be catastrophic if it stays like it is.

“The emergency services were amazing and we appreciate all the hard work they have done.”