Old Leigh hotel transformed with military backing
5:10pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in North West
A HALF million pound Leigh town centre project that was funded by military families has officially opened.
The Lilford Hotel in Bradshawgate was built in 1876 at a cost of £3,000 and has been transformed into apartments, retail spaces and self storage units.
The military bond scheme funds empty building refurbishment which the High St banks are unwilling to lend on.
The money comes from military and ex-military families and the neglected buildings are renovated, refinanced with the banks and the monies moved onto the next project.
"We have done this now for 45 empty properties which have over a five year period put £250,000 of Council tax funds back into local authority use. We are also trying to currently get Government to help with more grants to help us bring more empty properties back into use," said John Hatchard of Hatchford International Developments, runner-up in the UK Small Developer of the Year Award at the Landlord and Letting Awards ceremony specifically for the Lilford Bradshawgate project.
Denis Robinson from Casa Lettings sourced the building with Tanya Lloyd from Stringfellows Estate Agents and the project was co-developed by himself, Peter Gillon and architect Ian Leighton..
On Saturday Mayor of Wigan Clr Myra Whiteside opened the building which she said was a welcome addition to her hometown and a boost to the regeneration of the area.
"Over the years the hotel has been used for many things. It's been a pub and a carpet warehouse and has now been beautifully converted and renovated."
Still in the building is an original menu list of wines and beers from 1877. The Lilford Hotel originally included four cellars, nine ground floor rooms, 12 bedrooms, stabling and a coach house and could cater for 70 diners but only offered four beds and stabled six horses in 1890. Bed spaces were limited by the large billiards and reception rooms. It was also a popular venue with cyclists in Leigh including the Buffaloes cycling club. The original landlord was ejected in 1877 for licensing irregularities and paying £120 rent per annum - five times the normal rents in those days, then in 1880 Joseph Jackson was landlord and in 1895 he built a brewery to the rear.
Parr’s bank occupied the building next door and also a hardware store from 1901 and 1905. Then Alexander Patterson’s dental practise occupied the building.
The building became a pub after which the landlord in the early 1970s is reputed to announced he was closing down and told them if there was anything in the pub they wanted they could take it! It later became a carpet showroom.
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