Nutters Restaurant on Lancashire border to be turned into swanky new eatery


An iconic restaurant on the Lancashire border is set to be transformed into a swanky new eatery.

Nutters Restaurant, near Edenfield, and featuring the award-winning cuisine of chef Andrew Nutter closed in October due to the ‘immense suffering’ caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It had been operating for nearly 30 years and was famed for its lavish parties.

New plans have been unveiled to turn the fine-dining establishment into the new Albert’s Norden. It will include a huge new modern extension to sit next to the old Wolstenholme Hall where the restaurant had previously been based, a spectacular new dining space and outdoor terraces.

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In the proposals the Albert’s restaurant will be in a modern, glass fronted extension which will boast incredible views from its hilltop location. The design of the proposed build will follow closely in the footsteps of Albert’s Standish which was opened by the group last year, the M.E.N reports.

Chef Andrew said that the turmoil of lockdown and continuing crisis in staffing in the hospitality industry influenced the decision to sell up and “go out at the top of the game”. The restaurant, which sits in sprawling hilltop grounds on Edenfield Road, was sold to the independent Albert’s group and they hope to win approval for the new plans so work can start “soon”.

Plans for Albert’s Norden with the new extensions

The proposed scheme will include the demolition of some of the extensions done in the 1980s at the site, to create a new design to “exploit the distant views available”. Inside the old hall itself, the plan is to develop it into a “variety of function spaces” able to accommodate a range of events from small private parties to large corporate events and wedding ceremonies and receptions.

It will also include utilising the first floor space of the restaurant for the main, grand reception room which will boast stunning views for wedding guests and events. That will allow within the build two function rooms for up to 80 guests and up to 150 guests.

The main restaurant will be in the huge modern extension which bosses hope to build on the existing car park on the site. It will accommodate dining for up to 180 covers, including all-weather terraces exploiting the stunning countryside views.

Creating the new building will allow Albert’s to “recreate the existing Albert’s model of clean, modern and contemporary stylish, so that the development is recognisably an Albert’s restaurant, whilst respecting and responding to the character of the existing building and the context of the site.”

The proposed new restaurant extension next to the old hall building
The proposed new restaurant extension next to the old hall building

In the design statement for the proposals, it says: “The applicant, Elle R Leisure, is a long standing and experienced operator of several leisure venues, including four Albert’s Restaurants in Manchester city centre, Standish, Worsley and Didsbury. If the application is successful then this will become the fifth site.”

“The first Albert’s Restaurant was launched in 2004 with the state aim: “To deliver quality food to local customers at a reasonable price in a sharp, modern space with friendly, unpretentious service.” This aim has been pursued ever since and it had earned them a loyal customer base, which they are seeking to build on with a move into Norden.”

The “provision of attractive outdoor areas” is fundamental to the success of the scheme the plans say. And they hope it will make Albert’s Norden a “destination venue” for the region.

Getting rid of the old extensions will allow bosses to create a full width terrace to run across the front of the hall. And, key to the plans, will allow direct access from all of the event and restaurant spaces to the terraces and those stunning views.

Car parking will be moved to the east of the site, using a previous overspill car park area which will be upgraded and new paved walkways for guests to take to the restaurant.

Nutters closed in October after 28 years
Nutters closed in October after 28 years

As the previous restaurant Nutters, the site won huge acclaim and was recommended in a host of top food guides including the Michelin Guide. So it came as a huge shock when an announcement was made on the restaurant’s social media feeds in October 2021 citing the “extremely challenging” two years through lockdowns.

Chef and owner Andrew had won a raft of awards in his career, as well as appearing on TV cookery shows like Ready Steady Cook and having his own series Utter Nutter on Channel Five over the years. After the final service, Andrew said he was to explore the world of private dinner parties.

He told the MEN at the time: “I’m planning to go into events and providing private dinner parties in people’s homes in various locations around the world. It’s not all doom and gloom. We wanted to go out on top.”

Nutters moved to its current home at the historic Wolstenholme Hall in 2003, where it fast became known for its modern British menu with a French influence.

Plans for Nutters restaurant to become Albert's Norden - and follow a similar design to Albert's Standish
Plans for Nutters restaurant to become Albert’s Norden – and follow a similar design to Albert’s Standish

The existing building is a three-storey Victorian residence, built by George Goodwin of Staffordshire in 1850 as a gothic-style manor house called Wolstenholme Hall. It was set in six and a half acres of land on its hilltop location in Norden.

The building was used as a hospital between 1920 and 1977 and after lying abandoned for many years, the building was bought in the 1980s by Whitbread who restored the building and added substantial extensions to the ground floor, before becoming Nutters in 2003.

The plans for Albert’s Restaurant and Bar Norden, to give it the full title, were submitted to Rochdale Borough Council this week. Proposals for the redevelopment of the site were the subject of a pre-application submission, which was made in November 2021.





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