Ho­tel firm still to check out of hall

LEASE WAS TER­MI­NATED BY COUN­CIL

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By NIALL GRIF­FITHS

A CON­TRO­VER­SIAL ho­tel com­pany which had its lease at Wi­gan’s Haigh Hall ter­mi­nated is still oc­cu­py­ing the build­ing nearly three weeks af­ter they were sup­posed to leave.

Contessa Ho­tels spent £6m turn­ing the his­toric landmark into a lux­ury bou­tique ho­tel hav­ing taken it over in 2016. But af­ter fail­ing to com­ply with its con­tract amid nu­mer­ous com­plaints from the pub­lic, an evic­tion no­tice was is­sued against the firm by Wi­gan coun­cil.

The Novem­ber 22 dead­line has long passed but the coun­cil has con­firmed Contessa Ho­tels is still oc­cu­py­ing the Grade II listed build­ing.

Talks about the ‘tran­si­tion’ of Haigh Hall have been on­go­ing since the sup­posed end of the con­tract, though the fu­ture of the bor­ough landmark re­mains un­cer­tain.

A spokesper­son for Wi­gan coun­cil said: “Haigh Hall is an as­set that we know the peo­ple of the bor­ough cher­ish and we re­main com­mit­ted to se­cur­ing the best fu­ture for the site.”

While pri­vate dis­cus­sions have been held with stake­hold­ers, there is a feel­ing that the coun­cil’s elected mem­bers should be able to have a say on Haigh Hall’s di­rec­tion.

Cam­paign group Friends of Haigh Hall Her­itage and Open Ac­cess To All says it will also re­main open to any new ideas for the venue.

Cabi­net mem­bers will con­sider the fu­ture of the hall on Jan­uary 23, 2020.

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