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The Courthouse refurbishment plans go to jury

The Courthouse
Flat Cap Hotels has submitted plans for a new hotel, restaurant and bar concept at The Courthouse in Knutsford as part of its multi-million pound investment to create boutique accommodation in the area and open up further original rooms and features of the building to the public. 

This second wave of renovation at the Grade II Listed original courthouse will see the jail cells converted into characteristic bedrooms, new ‘zoom’ meeting spaces created, a major refurbishment of the restaurant and bar, plus new outdoor areas including a feature rooftop terrace.   

Flat Cap Hotels, which took over the historical building in 2016, completed an initial extensive conversion of the two original court rooms in 2018, creating 60 full and part time jobs in the town. Notable events have already taken place at the prominent town venue, including Heritage open days, the Lord Mayor’s Ball, Cheshire Fire Services events and the Knutsford Beer and Music Festivals.   

The rooms have remained open for wedding and private event bookings whilst the new phase of works has been in planning.   

Flat Cap Hotels engaged with Heritage Conservation Consultants, Kathryn Sathers and Associates, and specialist heritage architects, Hayes & Partners throughout the design process, to ensure the whole building is wheelchair accessible as well as safe for employees and patrons to meet ongoing social distancing guidelines.  

A Flat Cap Hotels spokesperson talked about the plans in further detail, he said: “We have worked very hard throughout the last 12 months with our team of specialists to bring forward a proposal that would preserve the abundance of period features and historical nature of the building.   

“Our plans have considered the local demand for quality accommodation, that will not only encourage visitors to the beautiful market town, but also help support employment and the local daily footfall and trading in Knutsford.  

“The Courthouse lends itself particularly well to the concept we are proposing. It brings a new lease of life to the stunning architecture and opens up the venue and it’s fascinating spaces for visitors to feel relaxed in and enjoy.”  

Proposals for The Courthouse include opening up the original holding cells, revealing the vaulted ceiling in the cellars; opening access to the area most travelled by the accused and once known as ‘the long-walk’; softening the austere frontage; a new food and drink concept in the restaurant space to increase space between tables and the creation of ‘Rooms to Zoom’ for teams to safely huddle in modern and unique meeting space.   

The rooftop and outdoor space will be a key feature at the venue, with the launch of the new dining and drinking area that will provide the much-needed airflow in the new Covid-19 age.   

Upon being granted planning permission by Cheshire East County Council, the refurbishment works will be extensive, with the launch of the new amenities expected in 2021. 

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