Warwick and Leamington MP James Plaskitt has become the latest well
known local name to back an appeal to save Leamingtons Regent Hotel.
The famous building, situated on the Parade, closed its doors to residents in December
last year and was due to be developed into a major shopping and leisure centre.
However, the plans provoked a large response from local residents and townspeople who
feel that more effort should be made to keep the historic site as a hotel.
Last week Leamington born radio star Norman Painting Phil Archer from BBC Radio
4s Archers voiced his support for the hotel and now Labour MP Plaskitt has
added his weight to the argument by insisting that a decision on the future of the hotel
must not be rushed.
"The major argument that has been made against keeping the Regent as a hotel has
been people saying that it was not financially viable to do so.
"However, I have been studying consultants reports as these clearly show that it
could run as a hotel, and I now believe that we must exhaust all efforts to find a buyer
who will keep it as a hotel before we consider anything else.
"I find any argument which suggests that the Regent could preserve its
architectural merit without staying as a hotel hard to believe.
"Most of the character and style of the building is its interior and I cannot see
how that could be retained if it was being turned into a retail complex."
Plaskitt also believes that allowing the Regent to lose its character and reputation in
the town would counteract much of the good work that is currently being done in
"We are just seeing the reopening of the Pump Rooms just down the road, which is
an absolutely first class restoration and is great news for the heritage of the town.
"Coupled with that, we are also about to see a couple of million pounds spent on
Jephson Gardens, so it really is like the renaissance of Leamington and it would go
against this to move towards an inappropriate development of the Regent."