A SOUTH Tyneside hotel which has literally risen from the ashes of a devastating blaze is set to create more jobs after a £5m transformation.
The Quality Hotel in Witney Way, Boldon Business Park, closed for two years after a major fire in November, 2010.
More than 30 firefighters from across the area spent three hours fighting the blaze and one person suffered minor injuries.
A probe revealed the blaze started when a towel was left on a sauna heater.
But now the 82-bedroom hotel is back in business, with a VIP relaunch yesterday with Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn and South Tyneside swimming star Josef Craig.
Hotel director Tina Chawla said: “Basically, we want people to know we are back in business, and the more successful we are, the more people we can employ.
“We currently have 40 staff and would hope to recruit more as the hotel gets back on its feet.
“South Tyneside Council must be acknowledged for giving us great support and directing business our way.”
Paolo Franchi, general manager, said: “The reaction from the general public and customers to the relaunch has been fantastic.
“We want people to know that the hotel is fully reopened.
“Last Christmas was slower than normal, and it may take a while to get back all our customers, but we can now offer a much better experience for guests.”
The £5m revamp includes a new 15-metre pool, a refurbished fitness suite and conference room – and the latest fire safety measures.
Mr Hepburn, who cut a ribbon and unveiled a plaque with Josef Craig at the relaunch, said: “This is a fantastic facility, which is great for the community and great for local business.
“The Quality Hotel is perfect for events such as the Great North Run and the summer festival in South Shields.
“I would like to thank the Chawla family for investing in the hotel and believing in the area.”
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Eileen Leask, and Coun Alan Kerr, the deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, also attended yesterday’s ceremony, which included funfair rides for local children.