Ambitious plans unveiled for 48-storey Tower of Hope
A landmark scheme featuring 109 five-star hotel rooms could soon be built by a hospitality company in northern England, inspired by its chairman’s life-threatening battle with Covid.
A prominent site in the pretty seaside town of Southport has been earmarked for a huge mixed-use development.
One of the region’s tallest buildings
Merseyside-based hospitality company Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group (MHALG) has outlined proposals to create a 48-storey tower on Lord Street in Southport, accompanied by eye-catching visuals from Clayton Architecture. Set to rise 178 metres high, the Tower of Hope would be one of the tallest buildings in northern England.
In July 2021, MHALG signalled its intention to transform the grade II-listed Grand Casino, which was originally built as a car showroom in 1923 and later hosted a cinema, bingo hall and casino, but has since fallen into disrepair. Work has already started on phase one of the project, but the company has now shared its vision for a striking tower ‘complementing the look of the art-modern design of the fabulous former Grand Casino’.
The Tower of Hope would incorporate 109 five-star hotel rooms; 140 high-quality one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments; a wedding venue; a restaurant; a themed bar; a health and wellbeing centre; and a state-of-the-art gym and spa. Green spaces and a substantial car park are also being planned.
Paying tribute to the NHS after Covid scare
MHALG is the parent company behind a string of venues across Merseyside, including The Bold Hotel in Southport, Lord Street Hotel in Southport and Eccleston Arms in St Helens.
Andrew Mikhail, chairman of Mikhail Hotel & Leisure Group, said: “I understand if we all get this off the ground, it will be the single biggest project that will have come to Southport since anyone can remember. New York City started with a single brick once upon a time, as did London and every major city and town.
“In the early part of 2021, I, like many others, contracted Covid19, causing me to spend over four months in intensive care, not expecting to survive. I was one of the lucky ones who did survive, thanks to the hope and faith of those closest to me, including my family, friends and the incredible nurses and doctors. Their support was relentless, refusing to give up on me.
“Hope and sheer determination got me through and has given me a second chance at life, for which I am sincerely grateful. The Tower of Hope will be built as a symbol for every single member of the NHS that helped the country stay on its feet, and those that have tragically died, and families that have sadly lost loved ones in this shocking pandemic, where so many people and businesses have been at the point in life where the only thing left for them is hope and prayers.
“I want this to be a true sign that we shouldn’t give up and that better things will come. I hope that people will look up, see the Tower of Hope, and realise that anything is possible.
“Sometimes, taking a few steps back will actually move you ahead much further and faster. It allows you to reassess, clear your mind, and catch your breath for the big plans about to unfold for you. The plans for this landmark building incorporating the Grand Casino will connect the past, present and future of Southport together.”
A strong working relationship with Sefton Council
Mikhail has worked closely with Sefton Council on several major projects in the past.
He explained: “I’m proud to continue to invest in Southport, having already invested millions into our current developments in Southport’s Northern Quarter I can’t thank Sefton Council enough for all their help in achieving the first two phases of this investment, which has given me the confidence to carry on, and we are looking forward to sitting down with all the relevant parties at Sefton Council and getting this final and largest phase over the line.
“The recent Town Deal funding announcement has been a great boost for Southport and, on the back of those funds, hopefully more investments will flood into Southport like the one we are proposing now. The council anticipates over £400 million of private-sector investment following their Town Deal schemes, and The Tower of Hope will be a major contributor to this, further stimulating the local economy. These are very exciting times for Southport town centre again.”
In March 2021, Southport was awarded £37.5 million in funding as part of the UK government’s Towns Funds programme to foster economic regeneration, stimulate investment and deliver vital infrastructure.
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