THE future looks uncertain for a £10 million landmark hotel complex on Portland after bosses called in the administrators.

There was shock today after the Portland Spa Hotel and Conference Centre emerged as the latest victim of the recession. The complex will remain open despite the move.

Accounting firm KPMG has been appointed administrators of Portland Spa Ltd and Southwell Estates Ltd, a management company which provides utilities and other services to businesses at Southwell Business Park.

Southwell Business Park itself, which is the parent company to both troubled subsidaries, is not being placed into administration and will continue to look after the needs of all occupiers on the 40-acre former defence site, it is stressed.

Portland Spa Ltd, which employs 55 people including some part-time workers, will continue to operate as normal as moves are made to find a buyer.

The complex comprises a 78-room four-star hotel together with a purpose designed conference centre, restaurant, fitness club, spa therapy suite and pool. The conference centre opened in April 2007 and the hotel opened last October.

The administrators said the objective now was to improve performance and generate profits in order to attract interest from potential purchasers.

Joint administrator and partner at KPMG Richard Hill said: “Unfortunately the amount of money required to convert part of the site for use as a hotel and conference facility, combined with a downturn in spending in the leisure sector has caused serious financial problems.

“However the hotel has great potential and we have already identified a number of opportunities to improve performance.

“Our initial strategy is to stabilise the business and start to generate profits which will increase the value and attractiveness of the hotel, the associated leisure facilities and the rest of the business park.”

Events executive at Portland Spa Julie Storey said: “It’s very much business as usual.

“We’re still open and we’re continuing to take bookings for weddings this year and next.

“Despite what’s happening we’re feeling positive about it.”

Another worker, who did not want to be named, said: “We’re still open so it’s not worrying anyone.”

Among the creditors owed money by Portland Spa and Southwell Estates is John Nash, owner of Portland Stone Ltd.

Mr Nash said he was owed ‘thousands of pounds’ for work done at the site including laying a new road and removing rubbish. Mr Nash said he was ‘disgusted’ with the situation and said a lot of local people who run businesses had been ‘left in a hole’.

President of the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry Nigel Reed said rumours were rife that something was going on at the park.

He said: “It’s a real shame because there’s been a big effort up there to make a difference, especially after the Royal Navy left and the effect it had on jobs in the area. Putting a hotel and conference facility up there was ambitious in my view but it is a very good facility.

“I’ve used it myself in fact and I hope they’re able to maintain it.”

No-one from Southwell Business Park was available for comment.