The £5 million transformation of Aston Villa’s historic Holte Hotel pub was completed in June 2007. During the design process extensive meetings were held with the local planning department and his conservation officer who actively involved English Heritage. The success of the accelerated planning process was our ability to allow officers to be part of the team and contribute to the process. A number of lifelong supporters were among contractors brought in to restore the grand old Victorian building to its former glory as a members club for home supporters.
The Holte Hotel, which originates back to 1897, had been derelict and boarded up for 28 years until Villa’s new billionaire owner Randy Lerner sanctioned its restoration. The pub is seen as a local landmark and was once a popular drinking hole for fans until the late 1970s and will now give Villa Park an impressive facade. It is also the first glimpse visiting supporters have as they approach the ground in Aston from the M6 motorway. Workers moved in in December 2006 to start to completely restore the three-storied building while carefully renovating the exterior which was protected by a preservation order. All three floors have now been completely replaced and redecorated with Victorian tiled flooring, new windows featuring stained glass and leaded lights in keeping with the building’s original feature. Old balustrades and a solid oak bar have also been added, all hand chosen and designed by the new Villa chairman. The building houses hundreds of match day fans and can be hired for conferences and weddings.