Ritz in Desborough forced to change name

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This could be the last chance revellers have to celebrate the new year with a party at The Ritz in Desborough.

For although the future of the conference centre and wedding venue is bright, its name will have to change.

Lawyers acting for the famous Ritz Hotel in London gave the owners of the Desborough venue until December 19 to agree to change its name.

The deadline has been extended until an unspecified date in the new year, but businessman Kris Malde, who bought The Ritz in Desborough and spent £1m giving it a facelift, has decided to make the change.

He said: “According to our legal advice, even if we defended our position and won, the legal fees would be in their tens of thousands of pounds so it’s not really worth us pursuing the matter.

“As it is, it will cost in the region of £20,000 to change the name from The Ritz to something new. We will have to alter signs, uniforms and brochures.

“It’s sad, but it looks like this will be the last new year’s party under the name The Ritz at Desborough.”

Earlier this month Mr Malde received a letter from a London law firm acting for Ellerman Investments Limited, owners of The Ritz, London, saying its clients were concerned their trademark was being used without consent.

Mr Malde, 43, of Malde Holdings, in north London, said at first he thought the letter was a joke.

He said: “What threat could we be to The Ritz in London?

“Desborough’s Ritz has been going for more than 80 years and, although our venue will keep going, the name will have to change.

“We have had dozens of messages of support from local people and others around the country expressing their disbelief.”

Tickets for the new year’s party at The Ritz, Desborough, are £40, including a drink, three-course meal and disco, or £25 for a booth and drinks.

To book call 020 8889 0811.