The Only Way is Essex link to Leigh's Grand hotel redevelopment

The Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel

First published in News

A LANDMARK building could be transformed into a plush boutique hotel, restaurant and spa if a well-known nightclub boss gets his way.

The Only Way is Essex star Michael Norcross, 48, who owns the Sugar Hut bar, Brentwood, wants to buy the Grand Hotel, in Leigh Broadway, and turn it into a classy establishment.

The iconic Grand has stood at the heart of Leigh for more than a century, but has been boarded up since 2008 when its owners, the Orchid Group, went into administration.

Mr Norcross, whose son Kirk, 23, is also a regular on Towie, confirmed his ambitious plans exclusively to the Echo and stressed he wants to turn the distinctive brick-built building into a hotel, not a club or pub.

He said: “Yes we are looking at it.We have been looking into it for some time now, and we want to turn it into a boutique hotel, with a restaurant and spa area inside.

“Obviously it all depends on whether we get planning permission, but I am going to do everything in my power to get this building.

“I just think it is a beautiful building, in a fantastic location, in a high quality area.”

Mr Norcross said he was aware of problems in the area,with break-ins and drug taking at the site in the past, but promised these would be sorted out should he take over.

He said: “We know it has been broken into a few times since it closed, which is sad to see. As soon as we get any permission though, we will beef up security.

“If we do get our wish granted, then we will be here for the long haul. It’s in the very early stages with our legal team.”

Kirk Norcross is one of the hit ITV2 show’s most popular characters and the Sugar Hut is often used as the backdrop for scenes.

Derek Jarvis, Southend councillor responsible for culture and tourism, is fully behind the scheme. He said: “This sounds like excellent news. The building is in a prime location and is popular with the people of Leigh. Development of the Grand Hotel has been needed for a long time now.

“The Only Way is Essex might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if, on balance, the population likes it, which they appear to do, then there has to be a place for it.”

The Grand was built in 1896. During the 1980s it became famous for its live music acts. Laurel and Hardy are even reported to have stayed there during its early years.

Comments (9)

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3:15pm Mon 12 Sep 11

dhd says...

The Only Way is Essex star Michael Norcross, 48, who owns the Sugar Hut bar, Brentwood, wants to buy the Grand Hotel, in Leigh Broadway, and turn it into a classy establishment.

Now there's a contradiction of terms if I've ever heard one.
The Only Way is Essex star Michael Norcross, 48, who owns the Sugar Hut bar, Brentwood, wants to buy the Grand Hotel, in Leigh Broadway, and turn it into a classy establishment. Now there's a contradiction of terms if I've ever heard one. dhd
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Andycal 172D says...

Another day another rumour about the Grand.

Next it will be the new planned refuge for teh Dale Farmites
Another day another rumour about the Grand. Next it will be the new planned refuge for teh Dale Farmites Andycal 172D
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Ivanna Goodhump says...

The optimist in me hopes this lovely old building gets renovated and protected.
~
The realist in me expects it to be deliberately left to deteriorate to the point it becomes "dangerous". It will then have to be demolished and plans will be submitted for an old people's home or flats.
~
Meanwhile our Council will sit idle and let it happen.
The optimist in me hopes this lovely old building gets renovated and protected. ~ The realist in me expects it to be deliberately left to deteriorate to the point it becomes "dangerous". It will then have to be demolished and plans will be submitted for an old people's home or flats. ~ Meanwhile our Council will sit idle and let it happen. Ivanna Goodhump
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Horace Wimpole says...

Norcross, 48, who owns the Sugar Hut bar, Brentwood, wants to buy the Grand Hotel, in Leigh Broadway, and turn it into a classy establishment.

LMAO.

It all fits though: Leigh is rapidly becoming the new Brentwood (i.e. lots of money, no class).
[quote]Norcross, 48, who owns the Sugar Hut bar, Brentwood, wants to buy the Grand Hotel, in Leigh Broadway, and turn it into a classy establishment.[/quote] LMAO. It all fits though: Leigh is rapidly becoming the new Brentwood (i.e. lots of money, no class). Horace Wimpole
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Mon 12 Sep 11

radioman says...

A Spa is supposed to be for taking medicinal waters. Leigh is on clay supportedby chalk. Nothing very health-giving in that.
A Spa is supposed to be for taking medicinal waters. Leigh is on clay supportedby chalk. Nothing very health-giving in that. radioman
  • Score: 0

7:00pm Mon 12 Sep 11

pussycats says...

I'm all for another, "Unit Four Plus Two!" The concrete is there, the clay is there and chalk is an added bonus.
A beautiful building, Have played there.
Clay and chalk are very beneficial to the skin.
If someone is willing to get "The Grand" on top again, I'm all for it.
Doesn't need to crumble and love will never die.
I'm all for another, "Unit Four Plus Two!" The concrete is there, the clay is there and chalk is an added bonus. A beautiful building, Have played there. Clay and chalk are very beneficial to the skin. If someone is willing to get "The Grand" on top again, I'm all for it. Doesn't need to crumble and love will never die. pussycats
  • Score: 0

4:21am Tue 13 Sep 11

carnacation says...

Knock it down, and sell the land for housing, there are too many pubs and trouble holes in Leigh, build some flats..
Knock it down, and sell the land for housing, there are too many pubs and trouble holes in Leigh, build some flats.. carnacation
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Tue 13 Sep 11

mauwoman says...

Why is everyone so negative. Leigh doesn't have a hotel and badly needs one. The Bell Hotel was never going to happen but this is the right site and I remember it as a hotel in the 60s. It's an iconic building and all Leigh residents should support anything that will restore it to its former glory.
Why is everyone so negative. Leigh doesn't have a hotel and badly needs one. The Bell Hotel was never going to happen but this is the right site and I remember it as a hotel in the 60s. It's an iconic building and all Leigh residents should support anything that will restore it to its former glory. mauwoman
  • Score: 0

7:49pm Wed 14 Sep 11

Verdislee says...

Well I'm all for a hotel in Leigh. What's the alternative? Another bar? Or Flats?
Well I'm all for a hotel in Leigh. What's the alternative? Another bar? Or Flats? Verdislee
  • Score: 0

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