Yorkshire based surveyors, Lucas Lee, reflect on the success of Grantley Hall project
Grantley Hall, a luxury five-star hotel and spa in North Yorkshire opened to the public in July 2019, almost three years to the day that construction started and two years...

Grantley Hall, a luxury five-star hotel and spa in North Yorkshire opened to the public in July 2019, almost three years to the day that construction started and two years ahead of schedule, following consultancy support from Lucas Lee, the Yorkshire-based firm of Chartered Building Surveyors, Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors.

Grantley Hall, a grade II*-listed building and AA Hotel of the Year, was renovated and refurbished in a £70m project by Grantley Hall Ltd, a company owned by Mrs Valeria Skyes. The luxury venue, located just four miles from the historic city of Ripon, offers guests a unique hotel, wellbeing facilities, and dining experiences in a new state of the art building which sits alongside the restoration and refurbishment of Grantley Hall.

Mrs Sykes appointed Lucas Lee in 2015 to give acquisition advice prior to the purchase of Grantley Hall. Lucas Lee were subsequently appointed to do a feasibility study and cost plan and this developed into a full Employer’s Agent, Project Management, Quantity Surveying and Contract Administration for the entire project. A traditional procurement route could have taken five years, but specialist advice and management from Lucas Lee brought the completion forward to spring 2019 — just in time for the booked-up wedding season.

Using knowledge formed by working on similar previous projects — including grade II listed Clumber Park Hotel in Nottinghamshire and projects for hospitality market leaders, Mitchell’s and Butlers, as well as many High Street retailers — Lucas Lee were able to create crucial time-saving efficiencies with a bespoke procurement strategy.

This was achieved by appointing Yorkshire Architects, Engineers and Contractors, Bowman Riley, GHD, R N Woolers and HACS. Lucas Lee included each company in the design team’s meetings to work together and collaborate from day one, ensuring that all parties were involved and consulted at every stage of the design and build phase.

Commenting on why Lucas Lee was chosen, Richard Sykes, Managing Director at Grantley Hall said: It’s a cliché but Lucas Lee is big enough to cope but small enough to care. From the top down, Lucas Lee showed a real commitment to delivering the project in our required time frame while accommodating the design changes necessary to deliver a five-star product which stands out in the market.’

Six of Lucas Lee’s team members worked on the project. As well as assembling the Design Team, the firm also acted as Contract Administrators, Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors.

Christopher Lee, founder and Managing Director of Lucas Lee, said: “We were delighted to be appointed to this project back in 2016. As the only five-star hotel in the North of England, that is marketed across the globe, it was an honour to work on such a prestigious and complex scheme.

“Our previous experience of the industry provided us with insights which allowed us to shave two years from the expected completion date. This was a crucial aspect of the contract, saving Grantley Hall Ltd additional construction costs and allowing the business to generate income well ahead of schedule.

“The hotel industry is one in which our team excel, and we think it stands us in good stead for winning similar projects in the future.”

The restored building, which combines rich heritage and contemporary design, presented a range of design challenges to overcome including bringing the hall, which had lain empty for a decade and suffered years of neglect, up to five star standard.

With a lack of information relating to the existing hall, Lucas Lee coordinated early intrusive surveys to establish the existing form of construction which allowed the design team to resolve the design in an efficient manner prior to construction commencing.

The Hall, which sat derelict for a number of years, had endured substantial water damage. All windows and the roof needed replacing and the external stonework required cleaning with any damaged stonework being repointed or replaced.

Our first stage was to model the entire estate and Hall in Revit, a 3D modelling programme which was undertaken by Lucas Lee.

As a Grade II* listed property it was necessary to retain and restore existing features such as tiling, decorative plasterwork, architraves, skirting, timber panelling and sash windows.

The team worked closely with the client, project architect and the local authority conservation office to ensure the structural restoration of the Hall was sympathetic to the period features that were retained in the finished project.  New interventions appear new and repairs are sensitively integrated within the existing fabric.

The scope of work was altered to accommodate unexpected revealing of structure or repairs. The intrusive structural surveys enabled Lucas Lee to accumulate considerable knowledge of the fall to inform the restoration and remodeling works and conform to the planning requirement to minimise interventions.  

Christopher Lee, said: “The hall is akin to bespoke recreations of prestige cars being undertaken by the likes of Aston Martin and Jaguar – taking a classic E-Type and giving it modern brakes, safety belts and air conditioning. That is exactly what we did at Grantley Hall, creating a building which is true to its original architecture but giving all the function and efficiency you would expect in a high-end city apartment.’

Four years on from the completed development, Grantley Hall has 47 luxury bedrooms, five restaurants, including a Michelin starred fine dining experience by Shaun Rankin, and a world-class spa with outdoor heated pool and specialist wellness facilities.

The hotel also has an English Heritage listed garden, with water features and sculptures decorating the landscape and has won multiple awards regionally, nationally and internationally.

Lucas Lee has offices in both Leeds and Huddersfield and works on contracts nationwide.

Posted 6th October 2023

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