Spanish businessman unveils possible future for Chesterfield Hotel

The new boss of the company behind Chesterfield Hotel has suggested a possible future use for the abandoned building.

Malcolm Aw told the Derbyshire Times he would like to see the Malkin Street site used by organisations which help vulnerable people.

Mr Aw is now director of GS Trading VI (Chesterfield) Limited. The firm operated the former hotel, which closed on January 31 after almost 140 years in the town.

The 67-year-old took over from Daniel James O’Doherty, who resigned as the company’s boss on February 1.

Mr Aw, of Adeje, Tenerife, said: “I propose that the site may be of better use to organisations for the benefit of marginalised people.”

He suggested one of those organisations could be Livibility, which supports more than 300 disabled adults at its 26 care homes across the country.

Mr Aw said no plans had been finalised but added he would keep the Derbyshire Times up-to-date.

It is understood that members of staff are still waiting for unpaid wages and redundancy money following the closure of the hotel.

Forty-five workers lost their jobs.

Meanwhile, customers who were left out of pocket when the hotel’s leisure centre shut last year are also still awaiting refunds.

The Derbyshire Times asked Mr Aw if these people would eventually get their money back.

However, he said he needed more time to make further enquiries about the “shocking state of affairs at Chesterfield Hotel”.

“I’m very sorry to learn of the way people have been left in the lurch,” he added.

Mr Aw is also executive chairman of Waterleau Plc, a London-based company which aims to provide an “inexhaustible supply of fresh and pure drinking water”.

Chesterfield Hotel opened in 1877.

Over the years, it was the venue for thousands of social occasions and was a major employer.

When it closed, town leaders and residents expressed their sadness at the demise of the well-known institution, one of Chesterfield’s longest-running businesses.

George Cowcher, chief executive of the Derbyshire chamber of commerce, said: “The loss of any business is never good news. The fact that Chesterfield Hotel is such a prominent building, a landmark for the town for nearly 140 years, makes the potential impact of the closure even more significant. With so much regeneration planned for that side of the town, we hope the owners will be successful in finding a future use for the building.”

The exact reason for its closure has not been revealed – but Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins held urgent talks with representatives from the hotel in January to discuss money problems.

Since its closure, criminals have targeted the Chesterfield Hotel building on two separate occasions, stealing property and smashing windows.