Hotel operator with two Preston sites aims for expansion
A family-run hotelier is set to further expand its growing portfolio of boutique 5-star aparthotels across the North West.
Walker & Williams, which currently owns and operates two five-star aparthotels in Preston, will now develop two new sites with the support of a £1.17 million development fund from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
The funding – which forms part of Lloyds Bank’s commitment to provide £1.3 billion in funding to businesses in the North West this year – helped support the group in breaking ground on a third site in Chester this month. The business also recently achieved planning permission for an additional site in Ormskirk.
Walker & Williams initially made a name for itself in 2017, when the group launched its first 5-star aparthotel project, No.10 Preston.
Following an overwhelmingly positive response, within three weeks of opening the business had already taken the decision to purchase an adjacent property and expand the site from 5 to 14 apartments to help meet demand. This was soon followed up with the opening of a second site in Preston, the Winckley Square Hotel, in December 2018.
Walker & Williams most recent ventures will see the historic Ormskirk Magistrates Court become the site of a 5-star bespoke aparthotel.
This will include 23 luxury apartments, a 72-cover restaurant on the site of former Court Room 1 and a cocktail bar featuring alcoved-booths in what previously were prison cells.
Meanwhile, work has already begun on transforming a 300-year-old building in Chester city centre into 19 5-star apartments, with direct access to the city’s walls.
The developments form part of a significant period of growth for the business, which has also set its sights on expanding to locations in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Harrogate in the near future.
Founder and director of Walker & Williams, Max Walker-Williams, said: “Our ultimate goal is to grow our portfolio to include 30 aparthotels within the next ten years. While it may seem ambitious, we have a proven track record of success and continue to see an appetite for the boutique style of luxury accommodation we offer."
Dale Parkinson, real estate relationship manager for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Walker & Williams is a prime example of a dynamic business that simply refuses to stand still."