The owners of a major Cornish hotel are pleading with the Government to review its re-opening guidelines for the hospitality industry.

The Headland Hotel in Newquay has been severely impacted by the effective closure of the hospitality industry over the past three months.

Owners say the business is now being forced to reduce staffing levels from 190 to around 110.

80 jobs are being cut from the hotel with the owners blaming a lack of clarity around guidelines. Credit: ITV West Country

John and Carolyn Armstrong have owned the five-star hotel for the past 42 years.

They say clearer official guidance would allow them to plan for reopening the site.

We had hoped, and expected, by this time we would have a clearer picture of when, and how, we would be able to begin welcoming guests back, given the potential reopen date could be as little as two and a half weeks away.

Carolyn Armstrong
The owners say they are having to make the "incredibly difficult decisions" to ensure the business can survive. Credit: Cornwall Live


Carolyn estimates lost revenue will be in the region of £2.5m between the third week of March and the end of June.

With no guests and no income, she says the fixed costs paid out to the end of June have been close to £750,000.


estimated lost revenue by the hotel over the three months of lockdown

Carol describes "this level of losses" as "simply not sustainable".

We are having to make some incredibly difficult decisions in order to ensure the business can survive.

Carolyn Armstrong

The Armstrongs hope to begin opening their five-star self-catering cottages in July.

However, the hotel itself is not likely to open until a later date, and even then with significantly reduced occupancy if government restrictions are in place.

We would like to pay tribute to the professionalism and the dedication of the team members who have been helping to hold the fort and working so very hard since March to keep the hotel going.

Carolyn Armstrong

Carolyn says the business has "done everything possible to try and avoid" reducing staffing levels but "the ongoing lack of clarity from the government has made the situation virtually impossible and left us with no other option."

It goes without saying this is a desperately sad situation.

Carolyn Armstrong