A MULTI-MILLION pound deal has been agreed for a historic hotel, which is said to be haunted and once hosted a Northern Ireland peace conference.

The Blackwell Grange Hotel, a grade II-listed property in Darlington, has been taken over by an Irish-based investor Bruhenny Investments, which is planning a “significant investment” to further enhance and upgrade the current offering.

Previous owner St James’ Hotel Group put the three-star hotel on the market earlier this year for £3.25m.

Yarm salt dealer and industrialist George Allan started building the property in about 1690, probably on the site of an old farmhouse, and his descendants created one of Darlington’s foremost mansions.

His granddaughter, Ann, known as ‘The Good Miss Allan’, died in 1785 and is said to haunt the Grange.

After nine generations of Allans at the mansion, it was bought by Darlington council in 1953.

It was converted into a hotel in 1970 and two years later, Home Secretary William Whitelaw hosted a summit that required a security cordon of 150 police officers there. The hotel, on the outskirts of the west end of the town, sits in 4.35 acres of grounds and has 108 en-suite bedrooms.

Dawn Raine, general manager of the hotel, has welcomed the move and is looking forward to working with the new owners.

She said: “The management and staff at Blackwell Grange are looking forward greatly to working with the new ownership and are excited about their substantial investment and improvements plans for the hotel.

“We will continue to provide an exceptional service for all our guests. We especially wish to reassure brides and grooms that there will be no disruption or building works taking place during any wedding reception held at the hotel. Any works will be carefully planned to keep disruption to a minimum.”

In 2007, the hotel underwent a £500,000 revamp when it was fitted with new carpets and soft-furnishings in the bar and restaurant, and plasma screen televisions in all bedrooms.

The hotel’s traditional features were retained, including the impressive fireplace and traditional coving.

In 2015, hundreds of residents opposed plans to build thousands of homes on parkland surrounding the historic hotel claiming the land has too much historical value to be developed.