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of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Thursday, 22 November 2007, 09:59 GMT
Autumn opening bid for fire hotel

It is hoped a luxury hotel on Tyneside, severely damaged by fire before its opening could be in business by next autumn.

An investigation is still under way into the cause of the blaze which broke out at the newly-built Hotel du Vin in Newcastle on Monday.

Initially it was feared the £4.5m hotel, due to open in the summer, would have to be demolished.

However the owners said it could be re-built and should be ready next year.

Ten appliances, including two aerial ladders, were needed to bring the fire under control.

Natural materials

Forensic teams are attempting to determine how the structure, which is part-Victorian, part-newly built, caught fire.

Robert Cook, chief executive for the Hotel du Vin group, said that the damage to the older part was the most severe.

He said: "Our buildings use a lot of natural materials, such as stone, steel and wood, which we expose.

"This one had some great features, but sadly many of those have been ruined and we will have to re-create them.

"We are now hoping for an autumn opening."