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West End glamour planned for Leigh's Grand Hotel
5:10pm Monday 8th October 2012 in News
A TOUCH of West End glamour has been promised in south Essex as a £4.5million revamp of a landmark hotel finally gets under way.
Speaking freely for the first time since he unveiled his plans for the Grand Hotel in Leigh last year, The Only Way is Essex star Mick Norcross said he wanted to bring the luxury London hotel experience to the county.
Renamed the Grand Boutique Hotel, the venue will feature a piano lounge bar, restaurant and spa, while staying true to its Victorian roots.
The start of building work on the project seemed a distant dream when Mr Norcross, 48, found himself embroiled in a protracted planning row earlier this year.
But he revealed he was now salivating at the prospect of restoring the iconic hotel traditionally and sympathetically. “We’re going to recreate that Victorian environment,” he said. “It’s a lovely building and a big project, but I’m looking forward to it. “I’ve always wanted to bring the West End hotel experience to Essex and this is a great chance.”
Mr Norcross divided opinion when he revealed his plans to restore the Grand, which has been closed since 2008, last year. <2011>
Neighbours complained it could trigger rowdy nightime behaviour and parking chaos, but traders in the Broadway argued it would revitalise the area. The proposals stalled twice, firstly over Mr Norcross’s bid for a late alcohol licence, and then over his plans for a two-storey extension.
Planning permission was finally granted in August, with Mr Norcross predicting it would take 18 months to complete the renovations.
He revealed the revamped venue would feature a celebrity chef to attract new diners, although he was unable to name the star.
As part of the expanded offering of 20 rooms, the hotel will also feature a grand bridal suite, finished with elegant Victorian-style furnishings such as deep-buttoned leather seats, hardwood flooring and elaborate ceiling roses.
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