A CHARITY wants to sell a specialist Sussex hotel which caters specifically for blind people.
The Royal Blind Society has put the East Preston-based Bradbury Hotel, near Littlehampton, on the market amid financial pressures and a fall in demand.
Eileen Harding, the charity’s chief executive, said: “This was an extremely hard decision to make. We tried to keep the hotel open for as long as possible, but the sad fact is that only 10% of our rooms are used throughout the year.
“We are unable to afford the huge on-going costs. I’m grateful most of our patrons support our decision.”
The charity claims the decision reflects a trend in specialist hotels, with blind and partially sighted people now having more choice of places to stay as businesses strive to meet Disability Discrimination Act requirements.
There were claims yesterday that guests had launched a crusade to keep the hotel – which has provided holidays to blind and partially sighted people since 1999 – from closing. But the charity said it has only received two objections.
Guest ‘Richard O’ said the hotel was a “fantastic haven” for the visually impaired in a comment on TripAdvisor.
He said: “Many visually impaired people rely on hotels such as this which cater specifically for the blind so it is a real shame they will not be able to enjoy this hotel anymore.”
Mrs Harding said: “A few people have enquired about the hotel’s future after we wrote to all of our guests to inform them of our plans.”
She said the society was working with other organisations and neighbouring hotels to make sure guests had alternatives and were confident in choosing other accommodation.
The charity’s trustees are considering expressions of interests from buyers.
Proceeds from the sale will be used to support blind children and their families.
Guests will be invited to a farewell dinner once the sale is completed.