£1.6m boost to convert former Magistrates’ Court into boutique hotel

From left: Michael Sandys, Max Walker-Williams, Craig Aikman

A new hotel development, within a former Magistrates’ Court, has received a £1.6m funding boost.

Lancashire’s Growing Places Fund, which is managed by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), has provided the loan for the Ormskirk Court Hotel, on Derby Street, in the Lancashire market town.

Vincents Solicitors assisted aparthotel developer Walker & Williams in securing the loan which will fund the refurbishment and extension of the site.

Once complete, the boutique hotel will offer 23 luxury apartments complete with en-suite bathrooms, living space and kitchenettes.

The old courtroom and cells will be transformed into a restaurant and bar, called the Alibi, for use by guests and the wider community.

Max Walker-Williams, Walker & Williams director, said: “I am thrilled the LEP has agreed to back this project through its Growing Places Fund, and that they recognise the huge benefits the redevelopment of the former court house will bring to Ormskirk.

“Not only will we revitalise one of the town’s most beautiful historic buildings, we’ll also provide new jobs for local people and create an exciting new destination for visitors and locals alike.”

The refurbishment and extension to the original 1850s building is expected to cost around £3m and the hotel will support around 100 new jobs for the town. It is hoped the hotel will open before the end of next year.

Debbie Francis, chair of the LEP, said: “The Growing Places Fund is designed to help kick-start new developments, or get stalled schemes back on track, which have the potential to generate both economic and social value to the wider community.

“By supporting the Ormskirk Court Hotel we are not only enabling the creation of local jobs, we are helping to boost the town’s hospitality and leisure offer. It’s also anticipated that the scheme will help meet Edge Hill University’s need for more high quality accommodation in West Lancashire, which will be another major benefit to the region.”

Vincents Solicitors’ corporate and commercial director, Michael Sandys, and commercial property director, Craig Aikman, provided support.

Craig Aikman, who has worked with Walker & Williams on two previous hotel acquisition and funding agreements, said: “We’re pleased to assist our client in securing the Growing Places Fund loan which allows completion of the building project. We know the quality that Max and his team will deliver and it will be really exciting to see the hotel open and bring the boutique hotel experience to Ormskirk town centre.”

Michael Sandys said: “Given the due diligence required by the LEP in making the loan, and the importance of ensuring best value for the fund, we put both our corporate and commercial property teams onto the project.

“Together with the LEP’s advisors, Knights, we worked hard to support both the property and financial requirements of the arrangement in order to get the deal secured as efficiently as possible.”

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