Haigh Hall Hotel set to reopen
A Wigan hotel with a controversial past is set to finally reopen, amid a legal battle with the town hall.
Haigh Hall Hotel will reopen tomorrow after being closed since the start of lockdown. And its previous operator, Contessa Hotels, will remain in charge of the boutique getaway despite being ordered out by the council last year.
Wigan Council had issued an eviction notice for Contessa to vacate the historic building on November 22 last year for failing to comply with the terms of its contract, following months of public complaints.
However, the Post understands that Contessa is pursuing a legal challenge against the break notice, essentially allowing them to continue running the hotel until the case is heard in court.
Wiganers have been surprised over the past week to see the grass being mowed and the listed 19th-century property being cleaned in preparation for throwing the doors open once more at the start of next month.
Contessa said it was making some changes to the services it offered due to Covid-19.
The local authority has said that the unexpected events of the last few days do not affect its ongoing legal action against the hotel company.
Lisa Baker from Contessa Hotels said: “We are delighted to announce that all of our hotels will re-open their doors on November 1.
“We have remained closed to protect our staff and have avoided redundancies. Due to furlough coming to an end on October 31 we are re-opening our doors to help further protect our valued members of staff.
“Haigh Hall will re-open offering a limited service in line with other hotel operations, primarily being pre-booked overnight accommodation and small weddings and funerals in line with Covid-19 legislation.”
Contessa said that Haigh Hall closed its doors on March 21 due to Covid-19, with its two other hotels remaining operational a little longer to support NHS and other front-line staff.
However, when the Wigan Post visited the hotel site shortly after the eviction notice deadline last November, it found the place entirely boarded up with the doors locked.
But several weeks ago, on a visit by sister newspaper the Wigan Observer, windows were open and the front doors were once again visible.
Residents had also posted pictures of the landmark building at night with all its lights blazing.
The Friends of Haigh Hall Heritage and Open Access To All group, which raised concerns about Contessa last year, said it was urgently seeking to understand what is happening.
A spokesperson said: “We have raised this with the council. We have been feeding back information throughout this year.
“Even when things didn’t seem to be happening members of the public have been monitoring the hall.”
A spokesperson for Wigan Council said: “Should the hotel reopen, all regulatory matters will be followed in accordance with normal procedure.
“The reopening of the Hall does not affect the ongoing legal process.”
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