The Oakman Group has secured a 35-year lease for the redevelopment of the historic Batchwood Hall in St Albans, envisioning its transformation into a 'top destination with luxury hotel rooms'.
Acquiring the hall, which has sat vacant since the onset of the pandemic, the pub and restaurant operator, Oakman Group, obtained the property from St Albans City & District Council for an undisclosed amount.
Constructed in 1874, Batchwood Hall originally served as a manor house for Edmund Beckett, the first Baron Grimthorpe, an architect, horologist, and barrister. Baron Grimthorpe is renowned for designing the mechanism of Big Ben in London's Westminster.
In 1935, both the building and its surrounding estate transitioned into council ownership, with the subsequent addition of a municipal 18-hole golf course.
Pending the approval of requisite planning permissions, Oakman Group plans to inject a multi-million-pound investment into Batchwood Hall.
According to Oakman Group, the anticipated opening of the venue is slated for 2025, featuring a comprehensive offering including a restaurant, bar, and function room.
'We also plan to establish the hall as a premier local venue for weddings and other events and a top destination with luxury hotel rooms for those visiting and staying in the City,' said Peter Borg-Neal, chief executive of Oakman.
Suzanne Jones, strategic director for customer, business and corporate support for St Albans City & District Council, said: 'We are very excited that this magnificent building is being brought back into use to become a St Albans landmark once again.
'The plans to create luxury hotel rooms alongside a high-quality restaurant and bar will help establish the hall as a top destination and attract people looking for a staycation. We have worked hard to find an outstanding partner in Oakman who share our vision for this project.'