TWENTY new jobs are to be created as a York hotel undergoes a £3 million extension and refurbishment project.

Work started yesterday on the multi-million pound transformation at the Best Western Monkbar Hotel, with the project set to add 27 new bedrooms and a meeting room.

The £3 million scheme, which will also see existing public and guest rooms refurbished, will take seven months to complete and lead to the creation of more than 20 new jobs.

The work is being undertaken in a bid to push the privately-owned hotel from its current Best Western three star status to four star plus, and take the total number of rooms up to 126.

It is the first extension at the Monkbar Hotel since 1998, when the hotel, which opened in 1990, increased to 99 bedrooms.

The latest scheme will see 27 twin, double and executive rooms, plus a new function suite, being created in a new three-storey extension block within the hotel’s existing footprint.

Monkbar Hotel general manager Graham Usher said: “This significant investment marks the most exciting chapter in the Monkbar Hotel’s 24-year history.

“It is a major project that will totally transform the hotel and offer guests a range of new facilities.

“While there will, undoubtedly, be some disruption, and for that we do apologise, the completed project will see the hotel boasting some of the most modern facilities in the city.

“The new extension will also be built to meet the latest BREEAM standards in terms of sound-proofing and environmental considerations.”

The interior of the public areas and existing and news guest rooms have been designed by Janine Powel of Hampton Design, which credits Marriott, Intercontinental, Centre Parcs and New York University amongst its client list.

Because the new extension will result in the loss of a number of car parking spaces, the hotel has negotiated a deal with City of York Council for the use of its car parks in and around the city.

The Monkbar Hotel was purchased in 2007 by Shiva Hotels, which owns venues in London, Derby, Manchester and Coventry, and recently opened two Hampton by Hilton hotels at Waterloo and Gatwick.