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Charity reveals multi-million pound revamp plan for West Norfolk hotel

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Charity bosses have today unveiled multi-million pound plans, which they hope will make their West Norfolk hotel an unrivalled destination for disabled holidaymakers.

For more than 30 years, the Park House Hotel at Sandringham has been offering vital respite breaks to disabled guests and their carers.

But now, the hotel’s owners, Leonard Cheshire Disability, have revealed the building will be closed for most of 2020 to enable major expansion and improvement work to take place.

Park House Sandringham. (16328567)
Park House Sandringham. (16328567)

The hotel’s 70 full and part-time staff were informed of the plans during a series of meetings yesterday.

Officials say “a small number” will be retained during the closure period, while the others are being supported to find alternative roles, either within the charity or other partner organisations.

Hugh Fenn, Leonard Cheshire’s executive director of UK services, said: “By making a considerable investment in its long-term future, the charity is aiming to make Park House Hotel an unrivalled destination for disabled guests and tourists.”

The building, famous as the birthplace of Princess Diana, was bequeathed to Leonard Cheshire by The Queen in 1983 and welcomed its first hotel guests four years later.

The charity says it is committing £2.3 million to the project and a major fundraising campaign is also planned.

The project will increase the number of guest bedrooms at the hotel from 16 to 24 and make the building fully accessible.

Other planned improvements include the installation of new lifts, a re-design of the conservatory area to create a games room, second bar and small gym, plus improved catering facilities, extra car parking and new communications and administration systems.

The current outside swimming pool will also be covered to enable it to be used all year round, while improvements to the grounds are also envisaged.

Mr Fenn said the plan was “hugely ambitious” but would also take sensitive account of the building’s heritage.

He added: “We want to be able to offer disabled visitors and their families a world class experience at this iconic location.”

The hotel is set to close in January and is expected to reopen in time for Christmas 2020.

Officials say they plan to begin the process of recruiting and training staff next August.

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