https://www.warrington.gov.uk/news/christmas-time-square

Walton Hall revamp to cost £26m

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COST of transforming Warrington’s Walton Hall and Gardens into a major, regional visitor attraction could be around £26 million, borough council chiefs have been told.
But most of the money could come from the private sector – and more than 150 new jobs could be created.
The creation of a high quality hotel and conference centre through expansion, renovation and refurbishment of the hall would be of great benefit to the town’s economy, according to a report to be considered by the council’s executive board.
But there could be a legal obstacle to the proposals going ahead.
There is a restrictive covenant that prevents part of the estate being used for the sale and consumption of alcohol, and another which prohibits the hall or any other building within the estate being operated as a hotel.
Executive director for environment and regeneration Andy Farrall said: “Unless these restrictions can be removed, they will compromise the council’s aspirations for the estate.
“In order to lift the restriction, the council will require the agreement of the beneficiary. This is currently being pursued.”
A year ago, the council announced long term plans to develop Walton Hall as a hotel and golf resort, conference and exhibition venue, training and education centre and public gardens with sculpture park and outdoor event venue.
Since then, a marketing exercise has produced an encouraging response from potential private sector partners.
But the majority have involved the golf course and, in reality, involve private operators running the same operation the council already runs.
A number of potential partners also wanted to add residential development to help fund the scheme and, because Walton Hall and its grounds are in the Green Belt, would be contrary to national planning policy.
But one scheme involves renovation and extension of the hall and outbuildings as a five star hotel with spar, conferring and banqueting, provision of a canal side country pub, café and restaurant and retention of the public park.
Mr Farrall says there is a risk that if the project is not progressed swiftly, the interest of potential partners could be lost.
He is recommending the board to approve the development of a master plan which would involve the council taking the lead itself on a golf academy and procuring an investor partner for development of the hall and outbuildings.

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

4 Comments

  1. It should become a hotel but without changing the ‘country house’ aspect. Cash in on this feature by making it a destination for mystery lovers by staging Agatha Christie type productions involving the guests. It would have worldwide appeal.

    My home town in Texas does this on a small scale using an historic Victorian home. They put on a dinner theater once a month and it’s difficult to get tickets. I’m sure that a ‘live in’ show would be very popular.

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