The Grand Folkestone
The Grand is a magnificent suite hotel on The Leas in Folkestone
"indisputably the finest marine promenade in the world"



November 2014

Press Release:

A major development at The Grand in Folkestone will preserve the future of this vast and historic building.

On Tuesday 28th October 2014 and following on from nearly three years of negotiations between Shepway District Council, Hallam Estates (proprietors of The Grand) and English Heritage a request for planning permission and a listed building application to provide a further seven unique suites at The Grand and to a Visit England Four Star standard has been approved via Shepway District Council’s Development Control Committee.

The scope of works whilst preserving the heritage of one of the south coast’s finest landmarks will also involve a major landscaping operation on the west side (see attached architects impression provided by Charles Bain Smith of Kent based Cyma architects) of the property.

The project will preserve the ground level of the west elevation of the grade two listed property via the creation of the following seven suites: (i) Glastonbury, (ii) Gladstone, (iii) Guildford, (iv) Gainsborough, (v) Godwyn, (vi) Gloucester and (vii) Grimstone and has been welcomed by District Councillors with Cllr. Russell Tillson Deputy Leader of Shepway District Council saying:

I am so delighted and relieved that The Grand has finally been granted planning permission by Shepway District Council. The plans for expansion are ambitious and longstanding and once brought to fruition will reinforce the reputation of The Grand as the leading provider of accommodation and fine dining in Folkestone. The impact on employment and tourism will increase still further the enviable record of The Grand. Full marks to Robert Richardson the General Manager

Cllr. Peter Simmons who proposed the development be approved commended the jobs creation factor of the project whilst speaking at the DCC meeting.

Under the management of Robert Richardson The Grand has become a large scale and award winning employer with four award nominations and wins from the Department For Work & Pensions for jobs creation in the last 18 months alone with the most recent being provided by Cabinet Minister for Employment Esther McVey earlier this year.

Robert Richardson had to say:

This sort of development not only maintains a valuable and Grade Two listed Edwardian building for the people of Folkestone but is exactly the sort of development that Folkestone needs as aside from it being a £800,000.00 project the increase of commercial activity will generate new jobs for Folkestone people through The Grand’s already award winning employment and training scheme and drive more money into our local economy. Cllr. David Monk, Cllr. Russell Tillson and Shepway District Council should be commended for their forward thinking attitude. 

This project also bodes well for putting other sections of The Grand back in to use which will also mean further job creation in Folkestone and future development of this fine building.”

Charles Bain Smith principal of CYMA architects represented The Grand throughout the discussions for the project and represented the application in front of Development Control offered the following:

We are lucky to have older iconic buildings like The Grand still in Shepway.  They still serve a purpose today, if they can be adapted sensitively.  Even Yoko Ono has a piece (of art) installed at The Grand.  This is the largest of Folkestone’s late Victorian hotels still open to the public.  It is a highly important part of our local cultural heritage.  It makes no sense to have parts of it empty.  Common sense has mercifully prevailed and I’m grateful for the hard and difficult work done by Shepway’s planning department and the sensible decision made by the committee.

The final word goes to Michael Stainer Director of the company owning The Grand:

“Folkestone has had a great boost to its tourism attractions this year, and it is satisfying that among its many initiatives the council is supporting the rejuvenation of The Grand which has become one of the major employers in the district.   And for me it is particularly gratifying to see The Grand blossoming after more than forty years of endeavour.”

Twelve representations against this development were received by Shepway District Council (at no point over the last three years were any objections to the development received by the management of The Grand) and the owners of The Grand were keen to hear all sides of the argument and responsibly took the decision to remove sections of the planned development in order to respect the opinions of our neighbours.

The plans in their final form are now accepted and works will be scheduled for the earliest opportunity. The precedents set out in this process have been essential in safeguarding the future of this vast and historic landmark and will allow The Grand to truly reach its potential over the next few years.


We would stress to all customers, friends and guests that any works will be discreet and that it will be business as usual at The Grand.

Please contact Robert Richardson, General Manager of The Grand for further details in writing at:

The Grand, The Leas, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2XL or by email:


April 2014 

Employment award

Employment Award for Robert Richardson of The Grand, Folkestone



Kentish Express
Kentish Express Esther McVey Visit 13.02.14

Letter from Deputy Leader of Shepway District Counsil

The Grand was privileged to support the “Department for Work & Pensions” / Job centre Plus by sharing some of our successes in the area of recruitment with them in two short promotional adverts:




Folkestone Herald 18th April 2013
Folkestone Herald 18th April 2013


Written commendation from Shepway District Council to the General Manager of The Grand, Robert Richardson. Fantastic start to the week for the team here


Written commendation from Shepway District Council (PDF)

Folkestone Herald 7th March 2013

Written commendation from Folkestone Town Center Management Ltd to the General Manager of The Grand, Robert Richardson.
Fantastic end to the week for the team here!



Success as The Grand supports the Governments Work Experience Scheme

Over the last 18 months The Grand has worked closely with the Job Centre in Folkestone to support the government's work experience programme in a scheme that allows the people of Folkestone the opportunity to not just find employment within one of the leading private businesses in the area but to join a billion pound worldwide industry that offers training, qualifications and advancement in properties within every country on the globe.

Persons joining the scheme are given their first experience of the working environment (that is the real interview process, working job descriptions and the realities of joining a profession) and the real potential for securing a job with a real salary and real prospects and a nationally recognized training and qualification scheme. We truly believe in the development of people at The Grand and this initiative allows us to take it just a step further.

As trend setters in this scheme we have been fortunate enough to not only have had exposure in a national newspaper over the last month but to have the Department for Work & Pensions use us as a case study on their website. The link can be found here:

People wishing to join this employment scheme should either contact Anne Murphy at the Folkestone Job Centre Plus or Robert Richardson at The Grand.

The Institute of Hospitality has also kindly helped to highlight our efforts to support this scheme in its weekly Twitter feed:

Inst. of Hospitality @IoH_Online
GM Robert Richardson, FIH, explains how his hotel & staff benefit from the govt’s #WorkExperience on #BusinessLink:


For more information please contact:
Robert Richardson
General Manager
The Grand

(01303) 222 205


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