A planning application for the new £20 million George Hotel is to be submitted by the end of the year – but the public is being invited to comment on the plans now.
Kirklees Council, which owns the building, is to turn the Grade II*-listed building into a high-quality hotel.
The old hotel had just 60 bedrooms when it closed in 2013 but the building, which is made up of three blocks, will be partially demolished and rebuilt, taking the number of bedrooms to 91.
The council has agreed a deal with Radisson Hotel Group for it to become an upmarket Radisson Red. Internally, the hotel will have a strong Huddersfield flavour and may have ‘themed’ rooms.
The ground floor is likely to have a reception, lounge, a 70-seater restaurant and bar and a large conference-style room for business use. The lower ground floor will provide a 100-cover banqueting suite for business events, receptions and weddings.
The main entrance to the hotel will continue to be in Railway Street – facing into St George’s Square – in the most historic part of the building, known as Block A. It has five floors and a basement and would be sympathetically restored.
Heritage experts say Block B – facing the railway station – is in poor condition and of “low heritage value.” The three-storey section will be completely demolished and replaced with a new-build block that would be “stepped back.”
Block C on John William Street is structurally in a similarly poor condition. Under the new proposals, the attractive building façade would be retained, with all existing internal structures and the courtyard removed and replaced by a new building.
As on Block B, the upper floors of this block will be “stepped back” from the retained façade to reduce the visual impact on the main listed building.
The hotel will also have an open void through the centre of the building, running vertically from the ground floor atrium up to a glazed roof on the top level.
Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The George Hotel is a key part of Huddersfield’s heritage and I am pleased that we are ever closer to securing the future of this iconic building with a quality hotel operator.
“The future is bright for our town centres as long as we remain committed to investing in them and supporting businesses.
“Along with the Cultural Heart and other Blueprint projects, the George Hotel will cement Huddersfield as a great place to live, visit and do business in.”
The council understands that people will have thoughts and opinions on the hotel refurbishment. Before the submission of an official planning application later this year, the council wants to inform the public about the proposals and give the opportunity to contribute to the finalisation of the plans.
The pre-application consultation programme will run from November 25 to December 9. Plans can be viewed, and comments made, on the council website at https://kirklees.gov.uk/georgehotel.
Construction could start later in 2023 with an opening date by Christmas 2024.