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Leading skincare specialist, SkinSpaceUK is the third business to secure a presence in The Gresham Building taking one of the high-quality commercial units, located within Leicester’s latest prestigious aparthotel development.


Situated on the corner of Market Street and Belvoir Street in Leicester, The Gresham is a £17 million renovation of a former iconic retail store, Fenwick. The new development is home to a shared office and workspace, four split level commercial units and a stylish, high-end a121-room aparthotel, which opened earlier this month.


SkinSpaceUK will move into unit one in Market Street in early 2022, adding an eighth store to its growing portfolio of boutique clinics across the UK.


The company offers a wide range of treatments from laser hair removal, aesthetics, skin peels and fat freezing, to cellulite reduction, skin tightening and wellness boosting shots.


SkinspaceUK CEO, Chris Kerrison said, “SkinSpaceUK is an expanding business and we have been searching for strategic sites that meet the quality we are seeking and our core target market. The Gresham was the ideal location for our latest clinic.


“Our skincare business will bring a new dimension to Leicester. We offer a broad-ranging, professional, clinic-based service delivered by senior practitioners, at affordable prices. We are very much looking forward to opening our doors to customers in the new year. Any enquiries can be directed to our customer service centre, contact details of which are on the website www.skinspaceuk.com .”


The Gresham unit deal was secured through commercial property agents, Innes England. Associate Director, Joe Reilly said, “Market Street and the surrounding area boasts an outstanding city centre location that is currently experiencing significant regeneration and development. Many transactions have happened recently, bringing a variety of different business propositions to the area, in much more than just hospitality. It is an exciting time which I believe will see this part of Leicester transformed over the coming months back to the thriving area it was a few years ago.


“There is a good deal of interest in The Gresham’s three remaining units but there is still availability at the current time. We would be happy to have a conversation with any interested party, who can get in touch via www.innes-england.com.”


Mark Copson, director at The Gresham, said, “We are delighted to welcome another strategic partner to The Gresham, complementing our existing commercial tenants: restaurant partner, Black Iron Social; and Leicester City Council, who have taken a long lease on the flexible co-working space and conferencing facilities.


“SkinSpaceUK is a business that is a perfect complement to The Gresham and it will also be a unique and exciting addition to Market Street and Leicester. I am pleased to be working with Chris and his team and I look forward to watching the success of his latest clinic.


“The resurgent demand for commercial space in market street following challenging times has been impressive and we are confident that we will secure quality tenants for the last three units very soon, further enhancing the vibrancy of the local area.”

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As we near the grand opening of The Gresham, Leicester’s new aparthotel, bar and restaurant development, what better time to look back at the history of the building, and examine how it earned its iconic place in the hearts of Leicester’s population. The Gresham has been home to two Leicester institutions, beloved by their communities. The new Aparthotel aims to build on this legacy, and begin a new chapter in a storied history of the building and its surrounding area.


Joseph Johnson’s was founded in 1869 on Market Street. A draper by trade, Johnson struck out on his having served his apprenticeship at Adderley’s store in Leicester Market. Forming a partnership with a Mr. Halsall, they opened a modest store on Market Street.


Johnson proved a savvy businessman, and by 1871 was the sole proprietor of the store. By 1884, he had become so successful that he commissioned Isaac Barradale to design the now-iconic Gresham building, moving into the five-berth frontage at the top of Market Street.


The building’s name, however, came from another investor in the new development, a businessman called Richard Allen. Allen, according to the Victorian Society, “wanted to make a bold statement,” and so commissioned the Gothic corner archways, curved two-storey window and canopied roofline which gives the building its unique appearance. Though the nature of Allen’s business at ‘Gresham Buildings’ remains unclear, he took on three shop frontages on Belvoir Street, with showrooms above.


Sadly for Mr Allen, his boldness was not matched by success, and in 1900 he sold Gresham Buildings to Joseph Jonson. The ever-ambitious Johnson also incorporated a hosiery factory into his store, and continued to modify the interior of the building to incorporate it as one contiguous unit.


By 1926, the footprint that would be familiar to Fenwick shoppers in 2017 was almost complete, As Johnson commissioned the Leicester architects Fosbrooke and Bedingfield to create links between the remaining small units. This evolution of the interior architecture of The Gresham remains evident to this day, and means that every suite in the new aparthotel has its own unique character.


Throughout this period, Johnson “lived above the shop,” devoting his life to his business and building it to the status of a Leicester institution. Johnson’s Stores evolved to become the type of department store that we would recognise today. He insisted upon exacting standards for his staff, and ran an unabashedly “high-class” establishment.


By the time of its 1962 takeover by Fenwick of Newcastle, Johnson’s Stores was as iconic in its community as Fenwick’s would become to the next generation.



With thanks to the Victorian Society, Historic England and the Leicester Mercury.


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The Gresham, Leicester’s latest aparthotel has today revealed its central bar and restaurant will be called ‘Black Iron Social’, run by the owners of the Black Iron restaurant at Winstanley House.

Owned by Leicester entrepreneur, Kiran Parmar, whose business ventures extend to The City Rooms - a wedding, conference and banqueting venue - as well as Winstanley House, Black Iron Social will be a unique, 80-cover restaurant based in the main ground floor lobby of The Gresham.


It will service Aparthotel guests as well as being open to the public seven days a week, from 7am until late, offering breakfast, brunch, bar snacks and dinner, as well as a selection of handpicked wines, drinks and cocktails.


Black Iron Social’s food will be inspired by the fantastic ingredients sourced from local suppliers, elevated by traditional and modern cooking techniques. Using classical and further-afield flavour combinations, the menu will be interesting and varied, catering for all.

Owner, Kiran Parmar said, “Having first opened in 2017 at Winstanley House, we are thrilled to be expanding and opening a second location within The Gresham. It’s a very exciting time for the Black Iron team as we make the final preparations for the launch of ‘Black Iron Social’ this Autumn and join a number of other fantastic businesses on Market Street.


“All our menus are brand new and full of fresh flavours so whether you’re looking to kick-start the day with brunch, grab a bite with friends or book a celebratory meal, we can cater for all tastes and occasions. We also can’t wait to share our menu of creative cocktails and timeless classics that are definitely worth joining us after work in the bar for!


“Socials, good times and delicious food in a relaxed, yet stylish city location is what we’re about and we look forward to opening our doors and welcoming guests in.”


The Gresham, situated on the corner of Market Street and Belvoir Street, is one of Leicester's newest and finest independent hotels and it is due to open in early Autumn. This iconic, Grade II-listed Victorian building, formerly home to retailer, Fenwick, is being sympathetically restored by developer, Aimrok Holdings.


Mark Copson, director at Aimrok said, “The concept behind the Black Iron Social with its contemporary feel and very best of British cuisine, fits perfectly with The Gresham’s traditional, luxury upmarket brand. We are extremely excited to have joined forces with such a well-known and prestigious operation and I am convinced it will be the perfect addition to The Gresham’s superb offer.”


“Being open to the public as well as guests, Black Iron Social will bring a totally different hospitality offering to the ever-improving Market Street. Along with The Gresham, it will play an important part in the revitalisation in the vicinity, and helping to boost the potential of the immediate surrounding area as being the new focal point of the city.”


Set in the heart of Leicester and walkable from the train station and all the major attractions, The Gresham offers a real 'home-from-home' environment that is perfect for long or short stays, such as business trips or office social events.