A NEW £10 million hotel within York’s Bar Walls is set to create 50 jobs and boost the city’s vital tourism economy.
Developers revealed today they want to build the six-storey, 120-bedroom hotel on land in Toft Green next to the planned new City of York Council headquarters.
They said York hotel occupancy rates now ranked as the highest outside London, and the proposal had already attracted interest from a number of national and international hotel operators keen to be a part of the city’s tourism success.
The new hotel would also complement the five-star Cedar Court Grand Hotel and Spa, which is due to open this spring just around the corner in Station Rise.
The proposal is the brainchild of York Investors LLP, which includes property companies Buccleuch and York-based S Harrison Developments Ltd, and is the preferred developer to deliver the new council HQ at West Offices.
Sandy Smith, of York Investors, said: “A good- quality hotel within the city walls will help boost the city’s economy and add to the attraction of York as a tourist destination as well as a place to do business. “We have designed a hotel which will sit attractively in the location and offer business and conferencing visitors as well as leisure tourists a convenient base from which to connect with York’s excellent facilities.”
Mr Smith said that because the building was so close to the city centre and railway station, it fitted in with the city’s sustainable transport ambitions, but there was also underutilised public parking nearby, which could be used by visitors.
The architects for the scheme, York-based Crease Strickland Parkins, said they had worked closely with the city’s planning team to create a contemporary design for the hotel, which was likely to offer restaurant and meeting facilities, a work-out room and around 120 en-suite guest rooms.
Jon Patrick, of Christie +Co, who is marketing the site for York Investors, said York was an all-year-round destination for UK and overseas visitors, and the exchange rate had seen a significant increase in tourists from the Eurozone, boosting the city’s economy.
York Investors LLP said the project would create about 100 construction jobs and about 50 permanent jobs.
It said it would be contacting neighbours to outline the plans in detail and would also stage a public consultation before submitting final plans to the council in the spring. If approved, the hotel could be in operation by 2012.
Demand on the up
TOURISM boss Gillian Cruddas said the proposed new hotel was a welcome investment – and an indication of York’s popularity.
Mrs Cruddas, chief executive of Visit York, said there was an increasing demand for accommodation, and the city’s success in winning accolades such as the Daily Telegraph’s Best UK City award had boosted this. “It is important, too, that we work to preserve the distinctive mix in York of quality bed and breakfasts and both modern and historic hotels,” she said.