#TOWIE set to redevelop the Grand in Leigh, #Southend
13th September 2011
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The Grand Hotel in Leigh on Sea, could be transformed into a plush boutique hotel, restaurant and spa if Micky Norcross 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 boutique hotel.

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.

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.

Mr Norcross 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.”

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.”

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