A hotel in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex is still on track for a transformation, as the site’s former reality TV star owner remains “totally committed” to the project.
Leigh’s Grand Hotel is to be brought back to life by TOWIE star Mick Norcross, who wants to turn the building into a stylish boutique spa hotel.
However, the site has been plagued by invasive weeds causing delays to the project, which is now a year into a three-year project to get rid of Japanese knotweed.
Norcross is hopeful that building work will begin in six to eight months time.
Speaking to the Echo, he said: “I still remain totally committed and want to deliver on the development. I want to return the hotel to its former glory, for the people of Leigh.
“I appreciate the support from residents and also that it does not look fantastic at the minute. But I am on-site regularly and pay to have rubbish removed once a month.
“Once the banks are satisfied the treatment of the knotweed is working, then they will release funds and we can start work again.
“I don’t want to start now and put three or four million pounds of my own money into the project only to find the knotweed hasn’t died and have wasted my money, so unfortunately it’s a waiting game.”
Norcross bought the lease on the building in 2012 and renovation work began in April last year. Work then was brought to a stand-still in September 2014 after the knotweed was discovered.
He plans to rename the historic building the Grand Boutique Hotel, which will include 20 bedrooms, a piano lounge, bar, restaurant, tea rooms and luxury spa.