Transformation of former Mags’ court to luxury hotel set to start

Former Ormskirk magistrates' court

Work is set to get underway on a five-start aparthotel on the site of an historic magistratres’ court in Ormskirk, West Lancashire.

The multimillion-pound scheme is designed by Preston-based FWP and will see the transformation of the building into the stylish Ormskirk Court Hotel, with 23 premium apartments, extensive landscaping, and new car park facilities.

The ground floor will host a fine dining restaurant which will utilise the historic Courtroom 1, with drinks being mixed and served from the listed witness box.

Once the project is completed next spring it is anticipated the Ormskirk Court Hotel will support 59 new jobs, and give a major boost to the town’s hospitality and accommodation offer.

The development is being backed by £1.6m from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund, an initiative which lends money to developers to bridge funding gaps on major property schemes in the county.

The building, on Derby Street, had been a courthouse for 166 years before it closed its doors in 2016.

Architecture, design and masterplanning practice FWP has produced the aparthotel’s designs for family-run hotel business Walker & Williams. It is the latest in a series of projects it has spearheaded for the company across the North of England.

CGI of development

Brent Clayton, partner at FWP, said: “We have, once again, worked closely with the Walker & Williams team to create quality accommodation and a stylish restaurant setting, giving a new lease of life to this distinctive and historic building in the centre of the town.

“We’ve built up a good relationship with the client and we understand their vision and ethos. It is about creating a real sense of stand-out luxury and destination.”

The Liverpool-based Walker & Williams Group is a family business created by Max and Laura Walker-Williams. The hotelier has been expanding its portfolio of five-star boutique aparthotels across the North West.

Operations director, Max Williams, said: “We have been busy securing a funding partner for the project to begin and ensuring that the design is the very best it can be with our architect partners FWP.

“We are proud to confirm we have secured a partnership with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growing Places Fund and are ready to begin this exciting project in Q4 this year.”

He added: “Ormskirk is in a fantastic strategic location between Liverpool, Southport and Preston. Although small, it has an affluent and growing population and university and we believe it represents an incredible opportunity for any solid brand offering real value.”

Previous Walker & Williams projects designed and delivered by FWP include The Hotel Chester – a £5.6m award-winning five-star boutique aparthotel scheme in the city that saw the transformation of a building dating back to around 1782.

FWP, which is headquartered in Preston and has offices in Manchester and London, also led on The Winckley Square Hotel in Preston for the company, a standout £2.8m development in the city centre.

The practice has also unveiled its plans for the £7.4m transformation of Amounderness House – Preston’s Grade II-listed former magistrates’ court.

FWP is working on the Preston City Council project to convert this historic building, which has stood empty for more than 20 years, into a modern, flexible workspace hub.

The office scheme is part of the ambitious £200m programme of investment and regeneration taking place in the Harris Quarter in Preston city centre.

Amounderness House was originally constructed in 1857 as a police station with holding cells, before being extended in 1901.

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