A WINTER refurbishment of one of the district's most popular hotels will preserve its history and secure its future.

That's the message from Matfen Hall's general manager, after the wedding venue revealed it would remain closed until March 2021.

A statement on Matfen Hall's website said the closure would enable an "incredible" refurbishment to take place.

The hall, which is also a golf resort, was purchased by the Walwick Estate Group, which owns the Walwick Hall Hotel, earlier this year.

General manager Peter Dawson said: "There is only one Matfen Hall. It's a beautiful building and we want to preserve the history and retain its character and original features long into the future."

Mr Dawson said the project would build on the work of previous owners, Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett, who opened Matfen Hall as a hotel in the 1990s.

In 2004, they oversaw a major expansion programme that resulted in the number of bedrooms increasing from 31 to 53, and the creation of the Aqua Spa and leisure facilities.

Despite the hall refurbishment, Mr Dawson said the golf courses at Matfen would reopen in line with government regulations.

A Matfen Hall statement read: "On behalf of the Walwick Estate Group, we’d like to thank you all for your unwavering support this last year.

"While we regard this as a very exciting time for the future of Matfen Hall and look forward with anticipation to our reopening, we are of course aware that this news will be disappointing to hear for many of our members, guests and supporters – for this, we can only apologise.

"We strongly believe, however, that the next few months will be worth the wait and we look forward to welcoming you back to see our magnificent new look in 2021."