New owners of a Gloucestershire convent have unveiled £3.5m plans to convert it into a luxury boutique hotel.
Husband and wife team Matt and Charlotte Roberts bought Poor Clares convent in South Woodchester for £1.7m — £550,000 under the original asking price — just 18 months after the last five nuns left, according to a report in This is Gloucestershire.
After six months of redevelopment, the first phase of the Convent Hotel & Spa project is expected to launch in early October, comprising a bar and event space, to be followed by the opening of a restaurant in late November.
An 18th Century chapel will be converted into a small acoustic venue for concerts and is expected to launch alongside a spa in 2015.
"We were fully aware of the heritage of the building when we developed our plans for the site, we want the Convent Hotel & Spa to be as ‘local’ as possible," Matt Roberts told This is Gloucestershire.
"We have employed local tradesmen to work on the development and we will be looking to employ local staff in the next few months for a range of positions,” he added.
Founded in 1860, nuns had lived on the 26-acre site for 151 one years , there were said to be 30 sisters living there in 1980, but that figure more than halved to 14 sisters in 2000.