BRIDES-TO-BE are said to be clamouring for the glamour of a wedding in Leigh’s Grand Hotel once the famous landmark is open again.
Owner Mick Norcross, who used to be the BBC docu-soap, the Only Way is Essex, has been transforming the Leigh Broadway landmark into a boutique hotel and restaurant since the end of 2011.
In the past he has made no secret of his hopes to get the Victorian building licensed as a wedding venue once the work is complete.
Bridal shop owner Julie Steadman, 43, who runs Blush Brides, in Rawreth, but lives in Leigh, says many of her customers are keen to bring a bit of Towie glamour to their big days.
She said: “My brides are quite glamorous and they’re always looking for somewhere where nobody else has got married, somewhere new.
“They know I live in Leigh, so they do ask if the Grand is going to be available for receptions and weddings.
“It’s very popular now to have both in the same place and people are assuming the Grand is going to be very glamorous, so I’ve asked Mick to keep in touch with me about the progress on that.”
Word about the hotel’s renovation work is clearly out, with customers from as far afield as Rayleigh, Wickford, Southend, Billericay and Brentwood asking about the venue.
Before weddings can be held at the Grand, Southend Council will need to issue a licence, though a council spokesman said Mr Norcross had yet to apply for one.
The Grand was built in 1899 in the Queen Anne revival style, popular from the end of the 19th century until the beginning of the First World War.
Originally called the Family and Commercial Hotel, it was renamed the Grand in 1910.
It closed in 2008, and fell into a state of disrepair until Mr Norcross, who also owns the Sugar Hut nightclub in Brentwood, took it on.