A PUB and hotel group has vowed to turn its business around following previous controversy.

Lucidity Group, which operates the Townhouse and the Dunes in Barrow, has announced a new management team to ‘fit the group for the future’ and 'ensure its long term success’.

The group said previous operations director Gawain Steel had left the business and two new senior executives had been appointed to move the business to a ‘more professional footing’.

Liz Patching is now group financial controller and Louise Lawrence has taken over as head of sales, marketing and operations.

The group came under fire at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis when it chose to let go a number of its workers instead of furloughing them.

Lucidity reversed the decision days later following opposition on social media and from Barrow MP Simon Fell.

The new operations boss said: “We are aware of the issues the business has had in recent weeks and months and want to reassure staff, guests, suppliers and the wider community of our renewed commitment to turning the business round and making our portfolio something that the region can be proud of.

“The business is sound and, having invested significantly in the Townhouse and the Dunes in the past year, we want to see all our properties go from strength to strength.

“Although there may still be difficult decisions ahead and we have to work around the current pandemic situation, we are confident that we now have the right people, systems and procedures in place to look forward to a bright future for the business.”

Staff said they were ‘let down’ by the decision to let go of staff in April.

Workers were originally told they would be furloughed but a letter sent to them two weeks later said they would be let go due to ‘current situation within the industry’.

In a letter to Lucidity Group, Simon Fell pointed out that Government programmes including the job retention scheme could have been put to use.

The group also runs the Stagger Inn pub at Stainton.