FWP to design £4m Wrea Green hotel expansion

Preston and Manchester-based architect firm Frank Whittle Partnership is overseeing the £4m expansion plans at a luxury country house hotel on the Fylde Coast.

FWP is designing and managing the expansion of The Villa in Wrea Green, near Blackpool, with the target of completing the project ready for the Open Golf Championship in neighbouring Lytham in 2012.

The property was a former gentleman's residence, which was converted into a 25 bedroom hotel and restaurant after local entrepreneur and farmer Simon Rigby bought it for an undisclosed sum in May this year through his company The Villa Wrea Green.

Richard McGonigal, the project architect at FWP, is collaborating with local residents in Wrea Green and Fylde Council during the design process.

McGonigal said discussions are ongoing with council officers and a planning application is expected to be submitted within weeks.

The improvements and additions to The Villa include a new restaurant and bar, a 500 capacity function hall and two new wings to the hotel matching the existing Georgian architecture.

These will house an additional 30 to 40 new bedrooms taking the total bedrooms available to around 60.

McGonigal said: "Aiming to open the new facilities to take advantage of one of the biggest sporting events to be held in the North West is a commercially sensible and realistic aim.

"Wrea Green is perfectly placed for golf enthusiasts who want to stay a short distance from the tournament and have a venue for corporate entertaining as well as a luxurious place to stay.

"Our expertise in delivering multi-million leisure projects on time and to budget undoubtedly helped, but there is also a commitment by the new owners to use local suppliers, whether in the award-winning kitchen or in plans for expansion."

Simon Rigby has extensive farming interests around Wrea Green and owns the surrounding land.

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