Liverpool hotel being ‘upcycled’ by Channel 4’s Find It, Fix It, Flog It star Gemma Longworth

The Liverpool designer and furniture upcycler is helping revamp the Sir Thomas Hotel in a Grade I 19th century listed building.

Gemma Longworth, a Liverpudlian designer from the popular Channel 4 restoration series Find It, Fix It, Flog It , is helping revamp the Sir Thomas Hotel in central Liverpool.

The listed building was closed over lockdown but has reopened its doors and is redecorating in a sustainable way.

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The 19th century building housing the Sir Thomas Hotel. Photo: Gemma Longworth

Longworth works on Find It, Fix It, Flog It alongside Liverpool-born presenter Simon O’Brien, who appeared in Brookside, and restorer Henry Cole “rummaging about in Britain’s sheds, outbuildings, lock-ups and barns for people’s unwanted clutter that they can turn into cash for them”.

When Longworth isn’t filming, she is upcycling furniture and selling it at MerseyMade, a space near Liverpool One that is home to creative entrepreneurs, who work on, showcase and sell their pieces in one building.

Gemma with fellow Channel 4 presenter Simon O’Brien. Photo: Gemma Longworth

She scours her local area for items to upcycle and finds “old furniture people don’t want” and goes to charity shops and antique shops.

She told LiverpoolWorld: “I was contacted by the Sir Thomas Hotel in Liverpool and they have been closed for the past few years during the pandemic.

Gemma at work on one of her own projects

“It is such a well-known place, but some of the rooms had become a little bit tired and dated. All the furniture was quality, so they asked me to think about sustainability and durability and I have supcycle the furniture that is there.

“I’m helping give 39 rooms a complete overhaul, they rooms are being recarpted, all the furniture is being upcycled, I’ll be painting wardrobes, bedside cabinets, dressing tables, uphostering headbaords and chairs.

Some of the hotel’s furniture before upcycling. Photo: Gemma Longworth
One of the revamped rooms featuring upcycled furniture by Gemma Longworth. Photo: Gemma Longworth

“It’s going to be a 12-month project doing one room at a time. The hotel has already redone the reception area and bar.

“The hotel put out a call for upcyclers and I soon as I saw the project would be saving furniture from landfill I was hooked. I also saw it as an opportunity to put my stamp on an incredible building.”

The bar area at the Sir Thomas Hotel. Photo: Gemma Longworth

Find It, Fix It, Flog It, will be returning to TV screens this summer for its seventh series.