Shrewsbury painters celebrate double contract win at county hotel

A Shropshire painting and decorating firm is celebrating after winning a double contract to redecorate one of the county’s most historic hotels.

Shrewsbury-based Watkins Contractors has been on site at the Mercure Shrewsbury Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa for the last three months.

They have the mammoth task of repainting more than 1000 window frames, guttering and facias on the outside of the 18th Century manor house and its adjoining buildings.

Now, more than 150 gallons of paint later the almighty job is nearing completion.

However, it will not be the end of work for Andrew Watkins and his right hand man Graham Jones as they have now been awarded a second contract to repaint the hotel’s leisure club and spa which is currently undergoing a £400,000 makeover.

“We have worked with hotels across the UK but it is always fantastic to be involved with businesses on our home turf here in Shropshire,” said Mr Watkins, who also owns painting firm Mixed Emulsions.

“Albrighton Hall Hotel is a magnificent building and it has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of such a huge project to breathe new life into it.

“Some of the paint work has been quite intricate especially along some of the facias where there are a lot of decorative features so it has taken several weeks to complete the job.

“We have got through plenty of tins of paint, lots and lots of coffee and we’ve seen enough spiders to last us a lifetime.

“Some of them have been huge and for someone like me who doesn’t like spiders they have given me the odd fright or two along the way.”

The painting duo have worked together for more than 25 years and are well known in the Shrewsbury area having worked on numerous commercial and residential properties in the town.

However Mr Jones said: “Albrighton Hall Hotel is certainly one of the most ornate buildings we have ever worked on and one of our biggest contracts in Shropshire.

“We are very pleased to have been awarded a second contract at the hotel to repaint the inside of the newly refurbished leisure club and spa.”

The work is part of an ongoing £2 million project to breathe new life into the hotel, which was acquired by owner Peter Cashman, chief executive of Focus Hotels, last year.

Hotel general manager Jennifer Sibbald-Wall said they had been keen from the outset to use local contractors where possible.

She said: “We are delighted with the work Andy and Graham have done. They make a fabulous team and have worked around all sorts of obstacles to complete the job.

“They have shown great respect for our guests and I think Andy might have even overcome his fear of spiders.”

Phase one of the upgrade, which has also included the complete refurbishment of the Albrighton event suite and two bridal suites along with laying a new driveway, is almost complete.

Phase two of the works, which involves a complete overhaul of the leisure club and spa to create a contemporary, luxury leisure complex for guests and members, is due for completion at the beginning of December.

[Andrew Watkins (left) and Graham Jones (right) of Shrewsbury-based Watkins Contractors pictured with hotel general manager Jennifer Sibbald-Wall.]
Andrew Watkins (left) and Graham Jones (right) of Shrewsbury-based Watkins Contractors pictured with hotel general manager Jennifer Sibbald-Wall.