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Grade II listed Georgian mansion to get £2m investment

13 May 2024 3 minute read
Marle Hall could be converted into a hotel.

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

An historic Georgian mansion is set to be transformed into a “high end” wedding venue and hotel by an Australian property developer.

Craig Lambie, of Middle Park Projects, wants to spend more than £2m refurbishing Marle Hall, a Grade-II listed mansion on Marl Lane in Llandudno Junction.

Mr Lambie has applied to Conwy County Council’s planning department, seeking permission to transform the former outdoor education centre.

Originally a grand Jacobean mansion thought to have been built in 1661. A fire in the eighteenth century reduced all but the south-east wing to ruins. The house was restored in about 1900 and from the early years of the century it served as a convalescent home.

Outdoor learning centre

The mansion was bought by Warwickshire Council in 1971 and was used as an outdoor learning centre, providing residential trips and courses for schoolchildren until it shut in October 2021.

Mr Lambie bought Marle Hall two years ago after “falling in love” with the mansion and now plans to refurbish the building as a hotel offering two or three-day wedding packages.

“It’s going to be quite high-end. We are planning for quite an exclusive wedding venue, a five-star experience,” said Mr Lambie.

“You’ll be able to have the whole hotel for your wedding guests, over two or three days, depending which option you want.

“You’ll have the wedding on one of the days. You’ll have one day to prep, and maybe a day after if you want.

“But the plan is to run two, maybe three weddings a week. That’s it. There might be three a week in August when it is the season for people.

“Typically, we’ll be offering two or three days for exclusive use and a spar, about 60 people.

“But the venue will seat around 160 people, so the other 100-odd people will drive or stay locally.”

‘Fully renovating’

Mr Lambie said his company initially planned on using outside catering but added the building has a full commercial kitchen which will be upgraded – with plans to extend the operation in future.

The hotel will create four full-time jobs but will require 20 or more contracted casual positions for each wedding.

“We are investing over £2m into the site,” he said.

“We are fully renovating the building and adding en suites and adding a spar on site. We are super excited.

“We have got so much support from Visit Wales. I saw the building and fell in love and then fell in love with the area.

“I’m a hiker, a runner. I love walking the cliffs around Llandudno.”

He added: “People ask me, what are you doing here, as an Aussie? I like the weather here. I think it is quite beautiful. Australia is too hot.

“It is a vibrant tourist area. Snowdonia itself is my biggest attraction and the castle, the history.

“I fell in love with the building because I love historic buildings. I particularly like the Georgian area, so when I saw it, that’s what got me.”

The planning application will be discussed at a future Conwy County Council planning committee meeting at the authority’s Bodlondeb HQ.

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