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Could Manor by the Lake become new luxury hotel for Cheltenham

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 03, 2012

  • Landmark: A new owner is being sought for grade II-listed Arle Court manor house

  • Grand: Inside Arle Court

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COULD historic Manor by the Lake become a new luxury hotel for Cheltenham?

Speculation is rife over the future of landmark Arle Court manor house after David Bill's company Cheltenham Studios, which owned the building, went into administration.

The stunning grade two-listed property is now on the market for £2 million.

It has the potential to be converted into a hotel, restored into a private home, apartments or used as offices.

Negotiations are ongoing with four or five interested parties, revealed property consultants Alder King, marketing the mansion for the joint administrators.

But it will be sold subject to the existing leases.

The building still houses company Manor by the Lake, which took over the weddings and conference side of Cheltenham Studios before it went into administration, and mixed offices on the first floor.

Cheltenham Film Studios, which operates from a separate part of the site, are not involved in the sale.

Former Cheltenham mayor and Benhall and The Reddings borough councillor Jacky Fletcher said: "I do feel the whole should be brought back into one – it would make a wonderful upper-class Cheltenham hotel.

"If Tewkesbury Borough Council can have Ellenborough Park, we can have Manor By The Lake."

On the upper floors are offices, one of which was once used as a base for Classic FM.

"It's a wonderful venue for weddings, parties and banquets, as David restored the inside to its former glory with wallpapers, marble fireplaces, painted ceilings and a wonderful entrance hall," said Mrs Fletcher.

"He also kept the grounds beautifully, the lake is wonderful and the walkways to it. This is a fabulous building which should be used to its full potential. A hotel would be ideal."

But Alder King partner Philip Pratt said none of the interested parties had revealed definite plans.

"They are investors or entrepreneurs," he said.

"They have to buy subject to the existing tenants' leases so would not be able to convert the building straight away and could also need planning permission."

Alder King first put the property on the market in October 2010 for £3.5 million as businessman David Bill wanted to retire and pursue other interests in France.

Mr Bill worked in the film and advertising industry and is known for creating the space-age robots in the Smash TV advert.

Arle Court, built in around 1850, was formerly headquarters for the Dowty aerospace group.

The 6.66-acre site is close to the A40/Golden Valley bypass and M5.

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