Major work to revamp a 30-year-old leisure complex on the outskirts of Shrewsbury began this week with offers of help from two of the club’s longest standing members.
Refurbishment of the leisure complex at the Mercure Shrewsbury Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa is set to be completed in just six weeks at a cost of £400,000.
The makeover will include a new entrance, changing rooms, additional spa facilities, nail bar and members relaxation room.
The gym will also be revamped along with the swimming pool to create a modern and luxurious venue for its 700 plus members.
Sisters Margaret Roberts and Christine Smith, who swim five days a week at the hotel leisure club to keep in shape, said they were very excited about the work – so much so they even offered to help.
“We can’t paint but we’re not bad at making tea,” said Mrs Roberts, who lives in Bomere Heath.
“We’ve been coming here since about 1991 so have seen a few changes over the years.
“However, the new plans sound great and we can’t wait to come back for our swim in a few weeks to see what’s been done.”
The swimming pool will close during the work but it will remain business as usual for the gym and treatment areas.
Hotel general manager Jennifer Sibbald-Wall, who on Sunday hit the last ball on the club squash court, said: “We will be moving the gym to another area of the hotel whilst work takes place so that members can still access the facilities and make use of their membership.
“The treatment rooms will also be temporarily relocated but in the main it will be business as usual.”
Site manager Paul Harding, who will be overseeing the works, said the turnaround time for the project was ambitious but achievable.
He said: “We will have 25 people on site doing 12 hour shifts to get the project done so that disruption for members and hotel guests is kept to a minimum.
“We think the completed refurbishment will be spectacular and will most certainly add an extra wow factor to an already impressive hotel.”
The leisure club refurbishment is part of an ongoing £2 million project to breathe new life into the 18th Century hotel.
And hotel owner Peter Cashman, who is also chief executive of Focus Hotels, is excited to see his vision for the hotel being achieved.
He said: “The current project represents significant investment into one of Shropshire’s most historic hotels.
“It is a magnificent building and the programme of works will realise the hotel’s true potential.”
Mr Cashman acquired the hotel last November and very quickly put in place a programme of works.
The main function room and bridal suites have already been upgraded, while a major repaint of the hotel exterior is in progress.
The entire project is due for completion next spring.