THE transformation of a landmark hotel into plush new homes “will be completed within a year”, with hundreds of people already queuing up to move in.

Bosses behind the project at The Grand in Leigh’s Broadway have insisted “progress is going fantastically”, despite countless delays in recent years.

The former hotel, which dates back to 1899, is being converted by developers 460 Leisure into 18 apartments, with a basement restaurant, spa and shop.

During an exclusive interview with the Echo, bosses revealed the development should be complete by next year, and is attracting international attention with one interested buyer from America.

Echo: Designs - How the finished development is set to look after the competitionDesigns - How the finished development is set to look after the competition

A spokesman said: “It will be complete in a year and all the homes have first fixtures for electricity and plumbing. Flooring is in on the homes and some have some kitchen parts in them too.

“We are working on the show home and the renovation on the outside is all complete. The homes have great views, and ten have outside space including terrace space and roof top terrace areas too.

“The top floor homes are set back a bit from the main outside of the building. The homes are very good sizes and you don’t realise this from looking at the outside of the building.

“There’s been lots of interest from a range of people, including those in Leigh who want to downsize but still want a good-sized home.”

He said the firm is building up a data base of interested potential buyers, with about 200 people on the waiting list for the 18 flats.

The building was owned by the late television star and businessman Mick Norcross, who died last January.

Echo: Interior - Inside one of the flatsInterior - Inside one of the flats

In 2017 Mr Norcross was granted planning permission to convert the old building into a wine bar, health club and a restaurant, plus 18 luxury flats, with 19 parking space.

The original hotel dates back to 1899 when it was known as The Family and Commercial Hotel.

The spokesman for 460 Leisure added: “We’ve had offers from companies for the whole development but we want to get the show home done first but there’s been so much interest in the homes and development.

“The communal areas and staircases still need to be done and we’ve started that work on the down stairs levels. We’ve used a high specification for the homes such as the kitchen and are using the same specification on our homes in London.

“It’s fantastic to see how it’s been progressing so fast in the last few weeks and months.

We’ve had a lot of an addiction cost that we didn’t expect, especially with the basement element of the development.

“The end product will and is already fantastic and it has been a labour of love for us.

We’ve worked on so many huge projects but not one as prominent and with such a strong community feeling and following. It’s been a bit of a learning curve in that respect.”

He said the homes are set to hit the market in the coming months.

Plans for the landmark building had repeatedly been knocked back by the council, before Mr Norcross worked closely with the council to gain planning permission in 2017.