Describing it as a ‘major blow’ for the local economy, the local Councillor added she was ‘extremely saddened’ by the news.
She said: “Along with everyone else in the area, I’m extremely shocked to hear that the current lease holders have left The Portaferry Hotel.
“It is also distressing to hear about the amount of people who have been left without answers. From the hard working staff and customers, who were given no warning or notice of the immediate closure, to the wedding party booked for this Friday who have been left devastated.
“I sincerely hope that the landlord is able to either taken over operation of the hotel themselves or find a new tenant as soon as possible.
“With the new boat to be put in service, celebrations for the International Year of Food and to hopefully see Exploris Aquarium re-opened, the need for overnight accommodation will be the highest in years. With 2016 set to be such a big year locally it is crucial the Portaferry Hotel is back in business to help meet demand.”
Kieran McCarthy MLA added: “This is a major blow for the local area. The Portaferry Hotel has been a major employer, being in existence for many years – always giving locals and tourists alike a friendly welcome.
“I worked hard at Stormont to secure an agreement over funding for Exploris and hopefully this will lead to the centre re-opening in 2016. It is sad the hotel has not been able to hold on for this to happen, changing life completely in Portaferry.”