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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Former South Lakes school building to be turned into hotel

A DEVELOPER is set to transform a former South Lakeland school building into a luxury five-bedroom eco hotel and spa.

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LUXURY IN MIND The former Kelsick Grammar School building in Ambleside which is set to become a green hotel submitted

Discussions are now under way between bosses at Springbourne Homes and national park planners to find the best design for the former Kelsick Grammar School building in Ambleside.

Adrian Burr, managing director of the Midlands-based firm, hopes to model his latest business venture on The Scarlet – an award-winning hotel with environmentally-friendly credentials in Cornwall.

He said: “This is what we have in mind at the moment. It will become a 50 bedroom hotel with spa facilities.

“But we have entered into a planning performance arrangement with the national park to find the best way forward for the building.

“Those discussions are now taking place and involve us looking into whether it is best to knock the building down or convert it with an addition.”

Mr Burr stumbled upon the boarded up £1m property – formerly owned by the University of Cumbria – while enjoying a holiday in the region with his wife.

The development will be his firm’s first project in the North West – having completed a range of schemes across the Midlands, in Switzerland and on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

The property, which has 1,500sq m of internal space set in grounds of more than two acres, could also become home to a cookery school headed by a celebrity chef.

Mr Burr, who anticipates a formal planning application will be submitted to the national park chiefs in September, added: “We’d love to get Jamie Oliver in there with something similar to his 15 restaurant to provide not only jobs, but a training opportunity for young people in the area.

“This is an exciting scheme. We want to get the best result for everyone involved.”

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