MULTI-million-pound plans to create a new hotel, restaurant and bar at The Courthouse in Knutsford have been submitted.

Flat Cap Hotels plans to turn the jail cells at the former law courts into boutique accommodation and open further original rooms in its second phase of renovating the Grade II listed property.

By opening up access to the area most travelled by the accused, patrons will be able to take ‘the long walk’ and spend a night in the cells – albeit in considerable more luxury than previous residents would have experienced.

This new wave of renovation will also include a major refurbishment of the restaurant and bar, to allow for safe social distancing, plus new outdoor areas including a feature rooftop terrace.

There are plans to soften the austere frontage and the creation of ‘rooms to Zoom’ will allow teams to safely huddle in a modern and unique meeting space.

A spokesman for the hoteliers said: “We have worked very hard throughout the past 12 months with our team of specialists to bring forward a proposal that would preserve the abundance of period features and historical nature of the building.

“Our plans have considered the local demand for quality accommodation, that will not only encourage visitors to the beautiful market town but also help support employment and the local daily footfall and trading in Knutsford.

“The Courthouse lends itself particularly well to the concept we are proposing. It brings a new lease of life to the stunning architecture and opens up the venue and it’s fascinating spaces for visitors to feel relaxed in and enjoy.”

Flat Cap Hotels, took over the historical building in 2016 and completed the first phase of its conversion in 2018, creating 60 full and part-time jobs in Knutsford.

The company has worked with heritage conservation consultants, Kathryn Sathers and Associates, and specialist heritage architects, Hayes and Partners throughout the design process.

Subject to planning permission from Cheshire East Council, the refurbishment works will be extensive, with the launch of the new amenities expected by 2021.