A Sussex sports coaching company has lost access to a Chichester hotel’s swimming pool amid concerns that it is being leased by the Home Office for asylum seeker housing.
Duncan Driver, the founder of DPD Coaching, told GB News that its last lessons at the hotel's pool will take place over the weekend after being given notice on Monday about the contract termination.
The swimming company, which mostly gives lessons to children at the pool, had been using the facilities for at least 15 years.
Driver said the hotel was its second-largest venue, regularly hosting over 100 customers.
The hotel is forcing local community services out of the building
He told this broadcaster: “During Covid we were stuffed, and we were just starting to rebuild but now this has happened. We’re trying to find somewhere, but it’s impossible to get through to the decision-makers. I'm just getting stuck at reception.
“We’re not a cowboy outfit, we provide a professional and reliable service. We’ve never missed a bill. This decision is going to have a devastating effect on the company, especially if we can’t find anywhere else.”
Driver is now “desperately” hunting for a replacement venue.
The hotel is reportedly closing on September 25 and being taken over by a third-party company as it prepares to host long-term residents, anticipated to be asylum seekers who have arrived via the Channel.
The hotel only informed workers about the changes last Friday
GB News understands that the lease is for two years and that hotel workers were only informed about the changes last Friday.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The number of people arriving in small boats is down compared with last year but we must go further to stop the boats in the first place.
“That is why we are determined, through the Illegal Migration Act, to ensure that anyone arriving in the UK illegally is detained and swiftly removed to their country of origin or a safe third country.