The London court house in which Oscar Wilde and the Krays were famously tried is to become a £125m luxury hotel after it was bought by Qatari investors.

Bow Street Magistrates Court in Covent Garden ceased its legal operations in 2006, and was later granted planning permission to be turned into a 100 bedroom hotel, with some rooms in the old cells. Now, the UK arm of Qatari investment firm BTC has bought the site from Austrian hoteliers Rudolf and Christian Ploberger, who had owned the site since 2008.

The building, which was built in 1881, was also home of the Bow Street Runners, London’s first professional police force. There are plans to build a museum showcasing policing artifacts as part of the redevelopment.

Over the years the Grade II-listed building has been the location of trials for numerous high profile cases, including suffragettes Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, and more recently preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri and Lord Jeffrey Archer.

Mehdi Ghalaie, managing director of BTC UK, said the company would work with English Heritage, as well as Westminster City Council and the Metropolitan Police to maintain the building’s heritage.

“After many years under different owners, our focus is now on delivering a world class boutique hotel that befits the history of this landmark building,” he added.

BTC UK was founded in 2015, entering the UK market through its acquisition of Soho Coffee Company in 2015, followed by Apostrophe cafés and Euphorium Bakery in 2016.



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