Gulf veteran Mike Taylor abandons bid to buy Bridge Hotel as holiday home for war heroes and their families.

A CHARITY has abandoned plans to buy a Fenland hotel to provide holidays for war heroes and their families.

Gulf veteran Mike Taylor says the battle to find a venue goes on after he decided not to bid for the Bridge Hotel, Sutton Bridge.

The Bridge – recently owned by Wisbech fish and chip shop boss Christopher Boyle- has now been sold for �195,000 to entrepreneur Mark Andrews who hopes to re-open the 19 bedroom historic hotel shortly.

Mr Taylor of Sutton Bridge said: “I am not going to give up on this in a thousand years. There is a greater need than ever for something like this.

He said the charity he founded- Bridge for Heroes - did not bid for the hotel because it needed too much money spending on it. A year ago Mr Taylor announced plans to buy the hotel and add a 200-seat cinema, library, museum and gym.

He hoped to raise up to �1.3 million to finance the project and provide up to 500 holidays a year and create up to 22 full time and 49 part time jobs.

However he said that after talks with Government ministers and the Ministry of Defence he felt the best way forward was for Bridge for Heroes to become a national charity instead of a local organisation.

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With possible funding from the National Lottery, the Ministry of Defence and large corporations he believes his dream can still be fulfilled.

Money already raised will be used to fund drop-in centres where veterans can receive pastoral counselling from trained volunteers.

He said: “People want to do things fast but you have to be careful you don’t trip up.”

The charity will continue to be called Bridge for Heroes.

“It was not just about the name of the hotel,” he said. “We called it that because of bridging the gap between military and civilian life and bridging the mental problems suffered by veterans.”

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