WORK has begun on a new 150-bedroom “high-end” hotel next door to the Grand Hotel in York city centre.

The former Aviva building, Yorkshire House on Rougier Street, will be converted to a Malmaison hotel featuring a sky bar on the top floor with views across to York Minster.

The site will also have a restaurant, bar and gym. And a single storey extension will be built on the land between the block and the Grand Hotel’s Rise Restaurant, Terrace and Bar.

Scaffolding has now gone up on the outside of the building and a spokesman for Malmaison said: “The site developers have advised it will be complete by the end of 2019.”

The sky bar and meeting rooms will be built on top of the existing building and planning documents say there will be a canopy on the terrace so guests can sit outside all year round. The application says: “The Skybar will be predominantly glazed to maximise views of the city and increase the transparency of the Skybar. The Skybar includes an external terrace to take advantage of the views towards York Minster and city walls.”

The hotel is set to have seven accessible parking spaces and 12 cycle spaces. There will also be a taxi drop-off point and turning area.

There are also plans for a new restaurant, bar and coffee shop on the ground floor of the hotel, while a gym will be installed on the lower ground floor along with kitchens and storage rooms.

Planning documents say: “The conversion of Yorkshire House to a Malmaison hotel will bring further jobs to the successful tourism industry that York has and it will add to the premium standard of accommodation that York has to offer.

“The building provides a superb opportunity for conversion into a high end hotel. This prestigious hotelier has completed extensive research into the demand and viability of their York requirements.”

New large windows will be installed on the ground floor of the building looking on to the restaurant and coffee shop.

Yorkshire House was built in 1962 and refurbished in 2000.