Vincents supports family hotel group expansion

Lancashire law firm provides legal services and bank introduction

Craig Aikman, Head of Commercial Property for Vincents Solicitors, has provided legal support for the acquisition of a 300-year-old Chester building for a local family-run hotel group. Preston-based Walker & Williams will now transform the building into 19 five-star apartments.

The project is the latest in a series of developments from Walker & Williams, to acquire and upgrade old buildings to create luxury aparthotels and high-end shared accommodation.
The firm is now seeking to expand across the North West thanks to a £1.17 million development fund from Lloyds Commercial Banking.

Walker & Williams currently owns and operates two five-star aparthotels in Preston, No. 10 Preston and the Winckley Square Hotel. The group will now develop the Chester site to become The Hotel Chester, and a fourth in Ormskirk where the historic Magistrates Court will become The Courthouse, 23 luxury apartments with a restaurant and cocktail bar.

Craig also provided the introduction to Lloyds and looked after Walker & Williams’ legal arrangements for the loan. The funding forms part of Lloyds Bank’s commitment to provide £1.3 billion in funding to businesses in the North West this year.

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.

Craig Aikman said: “Max has quite remarkable vision and the ability of him and his team to match words to actions is nothing short of inspiring. They have taken a series of underutilised buildings and transformed them into stunning rooms and apartments, vastly improving the value of the assets and, crucially, meeting a demand for high specification accommodation that is lacking in each of these areas.

“It’s no surprise to me that Lloyds has recognised the potential of this business model which, when combined with Max and his team’s ambition and determination, makes a clear case for their investment.”

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. Thanks to the hard work and ambition of Max and his family, the firm has achieved rapid success and continues to cultivate a popular brand that will only grow with each new venture.

“We’re proud to be by the side of businesses in the North West, providing the tailored funding that companies like Walker & Williams need as part of our mission to help Britain prosper.”

Founder and director of Walker & Williams, Max Walker-Williams, added: “Our ultimate goal is to grow our portfolio to include 30 aparthotels within the next 10 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.

“Alongside the exceptional support provided to us by Lloyds Bank, and the help of professional advisors like Craig, the success we have achieved to date has been as a direct result of the quality service offered by the Walker & Williams team headed up by Ross Taylor and Richard Fontana, the unique and stylish décor created by my wife Laura and my mother Sue, and the quality renovation work carried out by my brother-in-law, Mike and his team at MD Build – it truly has been a family affair!”

Pictured [L-R]: Max Walker-Williams (Walker & Williams), David Mitchell (Lloyds Bank), Dale Parkinson (Lloyds Bank), Craig Aikman (Vincents Solicitors)