WORK to transform a derelict buiding in the heart of Leigh into a swanky boutique hotel and spa will begin this month.

The Only Way Is Essex star Mick Norcross has said builders will move in to the Grand Hotel in the Broadway by the end of January to begin the redevelopment of the iconic building.

Following a lengthy battle, Mr Norcross has secured all of the planning permissions needed to reopen the venue after a £4.5million revamp.

Speaking to the Echo, he said he couldn’t wait to get the work started to restore the building to its former glory.

He said: “We are still doing the paperwork but we hope to get kicked off certainly within the month. We are just finalising the last few bits and pieces.

“We are looking forward to the plans becoming reality - turning dreams into plans.”

Planning permission for a two-storey extension, with two extra bedrooms, given the go ahead in August last year.

Last month, he was given permission to add an extra storey to the extension which will take the number of rooms to 20.

The hotel will also have a bridal suite with Victorian-style furnishings including hardwood flooring and elaborate ceiling roses.

Mr Norcross said he was hopeful the work would be completed within 18 months.

He said: “We have got all the planning we need now for the extension, the spa, everything like that is in place.”

Leigh Town Council welcomed the news.

Chairman Carole Mulroney said: “The town council is very keen that the work should start, we had hoped it would be earlier but there were other things he was dealing with.

“We really look forward to it being restored. It can only enhance that end of the Broadway, the building has stood virtually derelict for several years now. It will hopefully draw people in from Leigh Road and the Broadway.”