RUMOURS of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at Burnley’s Keirby Hotel have been quashed.
The hotel, now known as the Crown, has been closed for six weeks and all 48 students from UCFB College of Football Business moved elsewhere following boiler trouble at the premises.
A distressed mum of one of the students rang the Burnley Express saying she had heard there had been reports of Legionnaires’ disease there and that was the reason it had been shut.
However, a spokesman for UCFB, which has been housing students at the Crown Hotel since September, said Burnley Council had only recently tested the building for Legionella bacteria and the results had come back all clear.
“The building operator has confirmed that it will take approximately six weeks to replace the heating and hot water system, and we accept this timeline in good faith.
“All buildings used by the public are required to meet regulatory standards.
“The Crown was tested within the last month by the Council for Legionella and was compliant.”
The students have been moved to the Holiday Inn Express in Pendle Way and will stay there while the repair work is carried out.
A further statement from UCFB said: “UCFB has done much to make a positive impact on Burnley, with the initial takeover of the Sparrow Hawk Hotel into usage as student accommodation, and now with the Crown. UCFB has worked with the hotel operator to bring investment and a fresh lease of life to the building.
“With any building of significant age, on-going maintenance is essential, and the building operator has already invested extensive capital expenditure to renovate and modernise the facilities in this building.
“In the wider context, UCFB has received increasingly positive feedback from the local community regarding the revitalising of a local landmark.
“The building operator and UCFB have worked closely with the local regulatory authorities including Burnley Borough Council, the fire service and the Health and Safety Executive, to ensure that all of our premises reach required standards.
“The Crown building is another example of the positive impact UCFB is having, bringing millions of pounds of investment and expenditure into the local economy and protecting jobs and services in the town.”
Burnley Council’s director of economic regeneration, Mike Cook, said that the council was working with the owners to ensure the students’ safety was priority.
“The council is working closely with the owners of the former Keirby Hotel and the UCFB to ensure the property is fully licensed and meets the necessary standards to house students. We have a responsibility and a duty to ensure the Keirby and similar buildings are properly licensed and meet the necessary standards required for housing multiple occupants.
“The council is keen that the Keirby building can be used as a base for students as soon as possible and is working to ensure the relevant health and safety checks, risk assessments and plans for controlling safety standards are in place.
“With two new universities in the town and the opening of the University Technical College next summer, the council understands the growing need for student accommodation and are looking to support the development of safe student accommodation in the town.”