THE Ocean Hotel and Spa at Southwell on Portland is to close, it has been announced.

Staff were told today and Managing Director Verna Herry says she is keen to help the 24 employees find new positions elsewhere.

The hotel, which will close this Monday, is in the process of contacting spa clients and future guests to inform them of its decision.

Verna Herry said: "We have worked tremendously hard in recent times to build and market the hotel as a welcoming spa retreat and our four star status from Visit England endorses this.

"However, with the building work on the new Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy about to commence we now recognise that the hotel and its location is no longer an attractive destination for guests seeking a luxurious peaceful break.

"We have taken the decision to close before building work commences in order to avoid compromising the essence of who we are as a company and disappointing future guests."

She added: "My personal passion has always been focused on training and sharing knowledge.

"In time we will re-locate our business and create a spa and training academy that will not only provide wonderful treatments but also offer training to students interested in health and beauty."