Former Towie star starts work at Grand Hotel in Leigh

The Grand Hotel in Broadway, where workmen have started clearing vegetation

The Grand Hotel in Broadway, where workmen have started clearing vegetation

First published in News by

WORK has started on a longawaited £4.5million revamp of Leigh’s derelict Grand hotel.

Former Towie star Michael Norcross, who got the green light to turn the Victorian landmark into a boutique hotel back in August 2012, was in town last week and workmen have begun clearing the site.

Mr Norcross said: “I have long admired this iconic building and dreamed of rejuvenating it to reflect the original architecture.

"It has been my desire to bring the quality West End hotel experience to Essex and I see this building and its location as the perfect opportunity to achieve my dream.”

Workmen began cutting back overgrown vegetation at the front and the back of the historic hotel, in Broadway, at the end of last week, so builders can move in equipment.

Excitement built up over the Easter weekend as residents and visitors spotted the piles of branches outside the building.

The reconstruction of the hotel is expected to take 18 months and it could be ready to open in time for Christmas 2015.

It will be renamed the Grand Boutique Hotel and feature 20 bedrooms, a piano lounge, bar, restaurant, tea rooms and luxury spa.

The redevelopment was expected to begin within weeks of Southend Council granting permission in August 2012, but has suffered a series of setbacks.

Mr Norcross told the Echo the main issue delaying the handover of the site was the invasive plant Japanese knotweed. It was found in the site’s car park last year and finally removed in October.

Another hold-up involved Mr Norcross, who owns Brentwood nightclub the Sugar Hut, taking over the lease from the Spirit Pub Company, but this was sorted out in December.

Mr Norcross, from Bulphan, Thurrock, said: “My vision is for this classical building to be used by everyone throughout the community, enjoying quality food and drink and utilising it for various events from weddings and family celebrations to art exhibitions, fashion shows and anything else which would usefully serve the region.”

Ann Price, chairman of the Leigh Society, said: “It’s quite an outstanding building and a great shame it looks the way it does now.

“We would be delighted if it was brought back into operation and used again.”

Caroline Park, chairman of Leigh Town Council, said: “It’s brilliant news. I’m so pleased because there are quite a few doubting Thomases around the town and I really do hope Mick repays my faith.

“I hope he doesn’t let me and Leigh down.”

Comments (21)

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8:47am Tue 22 Apr 14

A_Myers says...

Why give it some stupid poncey name?

It will always be The Grand Hotel.
Why give it some stupid poncey name? It will always be The Grand Hotel. A_Myers
  • Score: 19

9:16am Tue 22 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......
I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up...... pembury53
  • Score: 6

9:35am Tue 22 Apr 14

Tessiec says...

I am really looking forward to afternoon tea!
I am really looking forward to afternoon tea! Tessiec
  • Score: 3

9:55am Tue 22 Apr 14

Howard Cháse says...

pembury53 wrote:
I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......
No Jeans, trainers or not having a permatan......
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......[/p][/quote]No Jeans, trainers or not having a permatan...... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 7

10:01am Tue 22 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

pembury53 wrote:
I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......
anyone that looks good i should think, so no ugly bugs(imagine the launch night will be glitz,glamour, Jugs, blinding white teeth and orange faces and a few local dignitary's), but i note the cracks and damp in the walls seem to be getting more visible hate to think what its like inside, a long way to go.
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......[/p][/quote]anyone that looks good i should think, so no ugly bugs(imagine the launch night will be glitz,glamour, Jugs, blinding white teeth and orange faces and a few local dignitary's), but i note the cracks and damp in the walls seem to be getting more visible hate to think what its like inside, a long way to go. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 9

10:53am Tue 22 Apr 14

DCLEIGH says...

I keep having the vision of Mick Norcross in overalls, a pick axe, hard hat and goggles going at it on his own !.
I would imagine it will last approximately 18 months. After that, someone will realise that someone has not done sufficient market research and that punters will not be looking to (a) Stay in a Leigh on Sea hotel room (b) Visit a bar which is loud, populated by chavs (just up from the Peterboat and (c) overpriced and not as good (no USP) as other existing establishments.
I keep having the vision of Mick Norcross in overalls, a pick axe, hard hat and goggles going at it on his own !. I would imagine it will last approximately 18 months. After that, someone will realise that someone has not done sufficient market research and that punters will not be looking to (a) Stay in a Leigh on Sea hotel room (b) Visit a bar which is loud, populated by chavs (just up from the Peterboat and (c) overpriced and not as good (no USP) as other existing establishments. DCLEIGH
  • Score: 7

11:45am Tue 22 Apr 14

Dr Sloan says...

All I care about is...it being open, looking nice, loads of pretty young girls and somewhere quiet to snort stuff up my nose..
All I care about is...it being open, looking nice, loads of pretty young girls and somewhere quiet to snort stuff up my nose.. Dr Sloan
  • Score: 10

12:55pm Tue 22 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

Dr Sloan wrote:
All I care about is...it being open, looking nice, loads of pretty young girls and somewhere quiet to snort stuff up my nose..
what with this place coming, rio and mariners, it's a good job DP world is up and running, with all that demand for nose candy.......
[quote][p][bold]Dr Sloan[/bold] wrote: All I care about is...it being open, looking nice, loads of pretty young girls and somewhere quiet to snort stuff up my nose..[/p][/quote]what with this place coming, rio and mariners, it's a good job DP world is up and running, with all that demand for nose candy....... pembury53
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

A_Myers wrote:
Why give it some stupid poncey name?

It will always be The Grand Hotel.
I agree.

Daft idea.. but then anything associated with TOWIE...
[quote][p][bold]A_Myers[/bold] wrote: Why give it some stupid poncey name? It will always be The Grand Hotel.[/p][/quote]I agree. Daft idea.. but then anything associated with TOWIE... Kim Gandy
  • Score: 8

1:38pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Kim Gandy says...

Howard Cháse wrote:
pembury53 wrote:
I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......
No Jeans, trainers or not having a permatan......
You missed out the plastic boobies
[quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......[/p][/quote]No Jeans, trainers or not having a permatan......[/p][/quote]You missed out the plastic boobies Kim Gandy
  • Score: 7

1:48pm Tue 22 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Howard Cháse wrote:
pembury53 wrote:
I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......
No Jeans, trainers or not having a permatan......
You missed out the plastic boobies
Nowt wrong with Bolt ons....done well of course.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......[/p][/quote]No Jeans, trainers or not having a permatan......[/p][/quote]You missed out the plastic boobies[/p][/quote]Nowt wrong with Bolt ons....done well of course. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 0

3:18pm Tue 22 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
Kim Gandy wrote:
Howard Cháse wrote:
pembury53 wrote: I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......
No Jeans, trainers or not having a permatan......
You missed out the plastic boobies
Nowt wrong with Bolt ons....done well of course.
quite so, women enhancing their appearence is money well spent, even if it's yours....
[quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: I wonder what the door policy will be..... 'no riff-raff' i expect, keep out the mariners towie wannabees, and those looking for a post kebab dust up......[/p][/quote]No Jeans, trainers or not having a permatan......[/p][/quote]You missed out the plastic boobies[/p][/quote]Nowt wrong with Bolt ons....done well of course.[/p][/quote]quite so, women enhancing their appearence is money well spent, even if it's yours.... pembury53
  • Score: 1

4:04pm Tue 22 Apr 14

kwikfatfitter says...

Wonder if we can get the dart team back in. ?
Wonder if we can get the dart team back in. ? kwikfatfitter
  • Score: 7

5:09pm Tue 22 Apr 14

stopmoaning1 says...

How much longer will this paper keep on referring to the builder as 'Former TOWIE star' for goodness sake
How much longer will this paper keep on referring to the builder as 'Former TOWIE star' for goodness sake stopmoaning1
  • Score: 9

6:55pm Tue 22 Apr 14

cheeky_chappy says...

Large Turps Large Davis
Large Turps Large Davis cheeky_chappy
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Tue 22 Apr 14

sesibollox says...

Dr Sloan wrote:
All I care about is...it being open, looking nice, loads of pretty young girls and somewhere quiet to snort stuff up my nose..
Along with the required by law in house CCTV, for these new licensed premises, as we love to see the new builds get refurbished, but even better whence they get shut down, as Robin would say....
[quote][p][bold]Dr Sloan[/bold] wrote: All I care about is...it being open, looking nice, loads of pretty young girls and somewhere quiet to snort stuff up my nose..[/p][/quote]Along with the required by law in house CCTV, for these new licensed premises, as we love to see the new builds get refurbished, but even better whence they get shut down, as Robin would say.... sesibollox
  • Score: 1

7:21pm Tue 22 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

stopmoaning1 wrote:
How much longer will this paper keep on referring to the builder as 'Former TOWIE star' for goodness sake
Leigh Times never even mentioned it in their same story this week, i personally think it would gain a few more positive votes IF that awful abbreviation and all that goes with it was well and truly dropped, i reckon he don't even like it himself....could be wrong mind.
[quote][p][bold]stopmoaning1[/bold] wrote: How much longer will this paper keep on referring to the builder as 'Former TOWIE star' for goodness sake[/p][/quote]Leigh Times never even mentioned it in their same story this week, i personally think it would gain a few more positive votes IF that awful abbreviation and all that goes with it was well and truly dropped, i reckon he don't even like it himself....could be wrong mind. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 4

1:03am Wed 23 Apr 14

tokyontroyzee says...

The race is on, who will be first through the door! The mincers from the bradway boutiques, those orange @#$kers from essex, or the yellow mini packers, sleep tight residents!
The race is on, who will be first through the door! The mincers from the bradway boutiques, those orange @#$kers from essex, or the yellow mini packers, sleep tight residents! tokyontroyzee
  • Score: 2

8:56pm Wed 23 Apr 14

steady_bloke says...

Good luck to the bloke, I'll certainly have a butchers when it's open.
Good luck to the bloke, I'll certainly have a butchers when it's open. steady_bloke
  • Score: 2

8:33am Thu 24 Apr 14

keine ahnung says...

Grand Boutique Hotel? Wouldn't "Massage Parlour," be a more suitable name for the building?

Entry requirements will be the following:

Golf clubs
Orange wives with names like Cassandra, wearing their fake Gucci Sunglasses and make-up direct from a concrete mixer.
Enough cheap gold to sink the QEll.
Overweight rugrats who think the word "Health," is a bonus point in "Gears of War."
And let's not forget the BMW with "Towie," as the number plate.

Good luck with the new Project, "Ex Towie Star." It won't be a total loss. The Grand will finally get the referb it needs. No gaudy colours please.
Grand Boutique Hotel? Wouldn't "Massage Parlour," be a more suitable name for the building? Entry requirements will be the following: Golf clubs Orange wives with names like Cassandra, wearing their fake Gucci Sunglasses and make-up direct from a concrete mixer. Enough cheap gold to sink the QEll. Overweight rugrats who think the word "Health," is a bonus point in "Gears of War." And let's not forget the BMW with "Towie," as the number plate. Good luck with the new Project, "Ex Towie Star." It won't be a total loss. The Grand will finally get the referb it needs. No gaudy colours please. keine ahnung
  • Score: 2

8:35am Thu 24 Apr 14

keine ahnung says...

keine ahnung wrote:
Grand Boutique Hotel? Wouldn't "Massage Parlour," be a more suitable name for the building?

Entry requirements will be the following:

Golf clubs
Orange wives with names like Cassandra, wearing their fake Gucci Sunglasses and make-up direct from a concrete mixer.
Enough cheap gold to sink the QEll.
Overweight rugrats who think the word "Health," is a bonus point in "Gears of War."
And let's not forget the BMW with "Towie," as the number plate.

Good luck with the new Project, "Ex Towie Star." It won't be a total loss. The Grand will finally get the referb it needs. No gaudy colours please.
Correction: refurb... :)
[quote][p][bold]keine ahnung[/bold] wrote: Grand Boutique Hotel? Wouldn't "Massage Parlour," be a more suitable name for the building? Entry requirements will be the following: Golf clubs Orange wives with names like Cassandra, wearing their fake Gucci Sunglasses and make-up direct from a concrete mixer. Enough cheap gold to sink the QEll. Overweight rugrats who think the word "Health," is a bonus point in "Gears of War." And let's not forget the BMW with "Towie," as the number plate. Good luck with the new Project, "Ex Towie Star." It won't be a total loss. The Grand will finally get the referb it needs. No gaudy colours please.[/p][/quote]Correction: refurb... :) keine ahnung
  • Score: 1

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