A HOTEL manager has spoken of his regret after having to make staff redundant to cope with the losses incurred following the devastating floods.

James Beech, operations manager at The Whitewater Hotel and Cascades health centre, at Backbarrow, near Ulverston, had to let five staff members go, and said he could not rule out further job losses among the remaining 30 workers.

Hopes were high that the complex would reopen within a week of last month’s downpour, which led to the River Levens rising to unprecedented levels and flooding into the hotel’s restaurant, bar and kitchen, but loss assessors say it must remain closed until the new year to allow for a “drying out period.”

Mr Beech said: “It wasn’t an easy decision. I have built up a team of people who I was very happy with. However we have to be seen to be reducing our losses. We would like to re-employ those that have left in the future, if that’s possible.

“We were really working hard to be open as soon as possible but I didn’t know at that stage realise I was in the lap of the gods and had to be guided by the loss assessors.”

For now, the team is continuing the clear up and hopes are high that electricity will be switched on again on December 14.