Former world boxing champion Amir Khan has unveiled a new luxury wedding venue next to a car wash and fly-tipping spot in Bolton.
The lavish complex – named ‘The Balmayna’ – has eye-catching features with glass walls, a waterfall and palm trees inside – along with greenery and a floral design.
But the venue, set to open just weeks away in March, is still surrounded by a building site and sandwiched between two car washes – despite its website promising a ‘royalty experience’ and ‘a touch of magnificence and excellence in every celebration’.
Have YOU booked to get married here? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who live in the area are far from happy with the design, with one person writing on Instagram: ‘It’s an absolute eyesore!!!! A blot on the landscape!!! It’s a huge lack of class! It also doesn’t look anything at all like the image portrayed.’
Khan, now 37, has been planning ‘The Balmayna’ – which translates to ‘enamelled’ in Arabic – since 2013, with the complex already taking bookings despite its surroundings appearing largely unfinished.
Locals have reportedly been infuriated with the site located next to a car wash and garage. The luxury complex comes complete with glass walls, a waterfall and palm trees
Khan’s new venue is near two car washes and an auto body shop
Amir Khan – who is married to model Faryal Makhdoom (L) has built an £11.5m wedding venue in Bolton that ‘looks like it belongs in Dubai’
The building is seen from the outside, with its presence infuriating locals
Khan’s personal life has often made its way into the headlines outside of boxing, as well as a handful of controversies.
He married Makhdoom in 2013, with the pair having two daughters, before announcing their separation in 2017. In the same year, he accused heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua of having an affair with his wife.
After announcing that the venue is taking bookings, the Balmayna’s Instagram page wrote: ‘With immense joy, the wait is nearly over! We will soon unveil the grand opening of@thebalmayna, Bolton’s newest wedding haven. A splendid project between Excellency Midlands and Amir Khan, where elegance seamlessly meets excellence.’
But one person said the building looks like it ‘belongs in Dubai’ on social media, according to The Sun, while another wrote: ‘Seriously? Couldn’t come up with something original? The design is about 10 years out of date.’
One took issue with the venue describing itself as ‘presitigious’, writing: ‘Please explain what you mean by prestigious here… That requires reviews, feedback and a degree of longevity / history.’
Work on the site has taken far longer than expected, with Khan speaking about his plans to ‘make Bolton better’ by building the facility more than a decade ago.
Khan has been planning to build the venue since 2013 in a bid to ‘make Bolton better’
The building, which is set to open in March, is seen from the back next to a carpark
Work on the site has taken far longer than expected, with Khan speaking about his plans to ‘make Bolton better’ by building the facility more than a decade ago
The building is seen from a distance near a car wash site and fly tipping site
‘We’ve always had the ambition to have something like this in Bolton but it was about getting the space and the area right,’ he said in 2013.
‘We want to make the town better, we want to get people talking about it and coming into Bolton to do their business work here.
‘Hopefully people can follow in our footsteps and start building more and investing into Bolton.
‘It is going to provide jobs and will be really good for the town. I’m putting the money back into Bolton and giving something to the community.
‘A lot of people go out of town for meals, to Manchester or wherever but why, when we’ve got Bolton here and the town deserves 100 per cent to have the best facilities.’
Last year, Khan failed a drugs test following his fight with Brook after a banned bodybuilding substance called ostarine was found in his system.
Khan retired in 2022 after his knockout defeat to rival Kell Brook before failing a drugs test
Khan was banned from all sport for two years after an independent panel ruled he had committed a violation but had not done so intentionally
Anthony Joshua (left) and Amir Khan (right) out in Dubai
Khan – who was banned from all sport for two years – bizarrely claimed his positive test could have been from ‘shaking people’s hands’ and pleaded his innocence, claiming he ‘never had or never will cheat’.
Khan, speaking to Sportsmail, said: ‘I have never cheated in my 27 years in the ring.
‘I spent over £100,000 to try to find out how this could have got into my system. Among the possibilities they came up with was via a handshake. There was a whole crowd of people in my dressing room after the fight and I’m a friendly guy who always shakes hands.’
Khan – who reigned as super-lightweight boxing world champion between 2009 and 2011 – hung up his gloves after a knockout defeat to bitter rival Kell Brook in 2022 and has since been turning his attentions to life outside the ring.
Last year Khan hinted at a reunion with his wife Makhdoom by sharing a snippet of their cinema trip.
Taking to Snapchat, the boxer posted a clip in which he revealed he was at a private cinema with his estranged wife and a camera crew, saying: ‘We’ve just come into the cinema. It’s a nice little private one this.
‘Everything else is good just came with Faryal and the crew here to the cinema. We’re just chilling doing our thing.’ Faryal also posted an image in a cinema.