THE future of an airport hotel has been thrown into jeopardy as its owner looks at the likelihood of permanent closure.

Peel is currently consulting with staff at the St George Hotel on Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) before a final decision is made about the loss-making hotel's future.

The company has said that 'challenging market conditions' is behind the decision to review its long-term future.

Reacting to the news of potential redundancies Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Simon Clarke said: “The news that all staff at the St George Hotel are being made redundant is devastating for staff and their families, especially coming so close to Christmas.

“Clearly moving forward our priority has to be making sure all members of staff are given the best possible help available to get back into work as quickly as possible, including support with retraining if necessary. I want to know what’s led to this awful decision and I also want to see if it’s possible to move staff to another part of Peel’s operations at the airport.

“This is just the latest failure by Peel, it undermines our area’s wider tourism offer and shows just how little interest they have in making a success of our airport, which is such an important asset to the region.”

The news comes just months after DTVA was handed a potential lifeline after the Government said it would protect regional routes into Heathrow should a third runway be given the go-ahead.

Confirming the decsion, an DTVA spokesman said: "The future of the St George Hotel is currently under consultation, with a full closure being proposed. The hotel sits within the airport’s wider business and, as it is loss making and cash negative in challenging market conditions, it contributes to the airport’s continuing financial losses.

"Built in the early 1940’s as officer accommodation for RAF Middleton St George, the building has been refurbished several times. However, due to its age and condition, it is now at a stage where significant capital investment would be required to maintain the building’s infrastructure and facilities.

"Given this major requirement for new investment in non-airport passenger operations, coupled with increased competition in new and refurbished hotels in the vicinity, we must consider whether a hotel which also serves few airport passengers remains a viable part of the airport’s core business.

"Should a decision be made to close the hotel, every effort will be made to relocate staff into vacancies within the airport’s terminal operations. The airport is also committed to work with our partners to preserve the heritage pieces currently housed in the hotel to relocate them to a suitable new home.”