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Friday, November 25, 2011

TOWIE star Mick Norcross shows off the dilapidated hotel he plans to renovate with son Kirk

Mick Norcross and his son Kirk have frequently discussed their new hotel venture on the most recent series of The Only Way Is Essex.

But it appears the Norcross family will have quite a challenge on their hands given the state of the hotel in question.

Sugar Hut club owner Mick, 48, let cameras into see the debilitated The Grand Hotel in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex ahead of its transformation into a plush boutique hotel.

Up for the challenge: TOWIE star Mick Norcross stands on the overgrown steps of The Grand hotel in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex

After buying the rundown Victoria hotel for ?4.3million, Mick is expected to plough ?3million into the extensive renovation.

Building work begins in January to turn the ruined building into a boutique hotel, restaurant and spa.

While father Mick will focus on the main hotel, he has given his son Kirk, 23, charge of setting up the spa.

All quiet: The stage and dancefloor looks in need of a drastic makeover

Mick told the Thurrock Gazette in September: 'We want to turn it into a boutique hotel. Obviously it all depends on whether we get planning permission.

'I just think it is a beautiful building in a fantastic location in a high quality area.'

Mick stressed he didn't want to turn the red brick building into a club or a pub - which is where his previous experience lies as owner of the Sugar Hut club in Brentwood.

It looks like last orders were called quite some time ago: The Grand Hotel went into administration three years ago

The Grand was built in 1896 and was said to have had Laurel and Hardy as its guests at one time.

In the Eighties, it became known to locals as a good live music venue.

But as these photos show, the stage in the ballroom area is looking in desperate need of some tender loving care.

The Grand has been boarded up with 2008 when its former owners Orchid Group went into administration.

Historic: The Grand hotel has stood in Leigh-On-Sea since Victorian times and played host to Laurel and Hardy

Over the last few years, plants have grown over the exterior of the building, with vandals breaking in to destroy parts of the hotel.

To fund the project, Mick has put his ?3.4million converted farmhouse in Bulphan up for sale.

He paid ?1.2million for the house in 2005 and spent between ?300,000 and ?400,000 renovating it.

The show featured heavily in the three series of TOWIE for many scenes featuring Kirk and Mick.

The way it was: The Grand hotel in 2007 - a year before it closed down

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