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How to spend £56 million in the Cotswolds

PUBLISHED: 10:04 13 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:02 20 February 2013

Nigel Page & Justine Laycock

Nigel Page & Justine Laycock

The news of a record Euro Lottery win for a Cirencester couple has been the mainstay of local bars and bistros for the past month. But how, asks Adam Edwards, will Nigel Page and Justine Laycock manage to get rid of all that cash?

The news of a record Euro Lottery win for a Cirencester couple has been the mainstay of local bars and bistros for the past month. But how, asks Adam Edwards, will Nigel Page and Justine Laycock manage to get rid of all that cash?

My colleague and fellow scribbler James Fleming complained to me last month that his handyman Nige, who was supposed to be clearing out a wasps nest in the attic of his Cotswold home, had not yet done anything about it.

I rang Nigel and said when can you come over and fix it, said James, and Nigel said, sorry mate, Im not going to make it now - Ive just won fifty-six million quid.

Thats the trouble with odd-job men, I said to James. Theyre unreliable.

The lucre has obviously put the summer vermin low on Nigel Pages list of priorities. In fact you can bet a penny to a Euro lottery ticket that James will now have to search for a new handyman. I know this because Britains (and Cirencesters) biggest lottery winner has not only just given up work, including those bits and bobs he did for James, but has also told the worlds press that he intends to spend the first of his newly-won wedge on building an indoor sky-diving centre.

I have to say that an indoor sky-diving centre seems to me an oxymoron (it reminds me of the yellow AA sign that read Red Arrows Display if wet in town hall) but nobody is going to be brave enough to tell that to Nige now that he is the 980th richest man in the UK. However his windfall has left me wondering how, if he stays around this neck of the woods, he will use the dosh? Will Cirencesters white van man as Nige has dubbed himself - metamorphose into Cotswold Range Rover man?

If he does, the first thing he must do to fit in with the local gentry is to trade in the van for some sort of a Land Rover, preferably one that looks as if it is about to fail its MOT and will have running repairs that will take a not inconsiderable lump out of any fortune. Mind you, his other car might well be a Ferrari from Bob Houghton in nearby Northleach the showroom has got a very nice bright red 2006 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano F1 on sale for just short of 150,000.

Then, if he is to continue to be part of the landed set, he must find a site to build a ludicrously large Cotswold house (he will, of course, be granted planning permission because he is now a wealthy celebrity) in traditional stone which, according to the wish list of his long-term partner Justine Laycock, must be somewhere where she can open the back door and throw a ball where the dog can run and run. And in that case this modern manor depending of course on the speed and stamina of the dog will need to be surrounded by parkland and paddocks.

We are told that for now, Nigel has settled for a 4 million eco-home in Barnsley, but what might be easier would be to buy the 379-acres of land near Wotton-under-Edge for 6 million with planning permission to build The Ridge described as the closest thing to an original stately home that it is possible to build. The plans for the house, with its classical facade and state of the art trappings (to say nothing of its 11 bedrooms, six reception rooms and Harry Potter grand hall), will be the first of its kind in Gloucestershire for over a century.

Whatever house he gets, he must also obtain enough land with a collection of woods to run a decent shoot, own a bit of river for fishing and employ a keeper that he can complain about constantly. That sort of hobby farm will need around 300 acres, according to Rupert Marchington at the Cirencester office of the estate agents Knight Frank, and it will cost him between five and seven million.

The house itself will need a set of impressive electric gates, a thick gravel drive, a capacious hall with a flagstone floor and a Mark Wilkinson farmhouse kitchen (at least 50,000), Miele sub-zero fridge and a four-door electric Aga (15,000 plus the exorbitant cost of running it).

Other necessities include a Crestron Smart Home system with touch pads in every room that will allow Nigel and Justine to control everything from the iPod to the plasma telly in the shower, an indoor swimming from Portrait Pools (this years winner of the Swimming Pools and Allied Trades Association best indoor pool of the year over 150,000) and a home cinema with a Runco projector (a Texan recently spent 1.65 million pounds on his).

And furthermore, if Nigel did settle in the Wotton-under-Edge manor, it is only a short drive in a Range Rover Sport (63,295) which Nigel has expressed a wish to buy to the Cotswold Airport (formerly Kemble Airport) where he can keep his private Citation Mustang jet (5 million) with its pale grey leather interior and his million pound Cessna Grand Caravan the preferred aircraft for skydivers which can climb to 13,000 feet in under 10 minutes.

And, during the winter when skydiving is a damp and chilly occupation, he can run a racehorse and keep it in training at Jackdaws Castle at Temple Guiting. Thatll be a minimum 100,000 plus for a horse with an outsiders chance at the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival. And the spending doesnt stop there. He must be kitted out from Pakeman Catto & Carter in Cirencesters Market Place. This old-fashioned tailor not only sells kit that only the Cotswold wealthy would ever consider wearing, such as multicoloured socks, barking man boxer shorts and brick coloured corduroys, but also it charges like a wounded bull.

Furthermore he can now afford to shop at Waitrose (he celebrated his win with bacon butties at the supermarket), have a cheddar and chutney sandwich at the Barnsley House Hotel (7) and have dinner at Cheltenhams Le Champignon Sauvage (64 a head without wine, bottled water, coffee or service). He can even buy his fillet steak from Jesse Smith, the butcher in Cirencesters Black Jack Street, and get his organic Spelt Soda bread from Hobbs House Bakery in the towns Corn Hall and still have change from 56 mill.

And I suppose if he is feeling particularly flush he might feel comfortable popping into the Daylesford Farm Shop, near Kingham, which, if you have to ask how much anything costs (it sensibly doesnt put the grocery prices on its home delivery website), you cant afford to buy it. (The editor of this magazine once stalked out of there in a state of shock after spying an 8.95 ball of string.) I realise that weve barely put much of a dent in a fortune that accrues interest of 6,000 a day, but at least weve had fun trying.

And despite Nigel Pages fabulous wealth he will find that there is still one thing that will be difficult to buy. As my friend James has found out, it doesnt matter how much money one has around here, it remains almost impossible to find and keep a reliable handyman.


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