Kirklees Council has signed a deal for the restored George Hotel to become a Radisson RED.
Planning permission has still not been approved for the grade II*-listed hotel building, which could involve the demolition and rebuilding of the two ‘newer’ sides.
The council has previously said the new £20 million hotel – to be known as Radisson RED Huddersfield – would open by Christmas 2024 but the latest estimate is winter 2024-25.
The oldest part of the building dates back to 1851 and the historic features of the building will be restored and enhanced.
The council has worked with Historic England on the scheme but the Victorian Society has expressed concerns over demolition of the two wings, facing Huddersfield Railway Station and also John William Street. The society says the demolition is ‘unnecessary.’
Radisson RED is a distinctive brand. Its décor isn’t generic and is designed to reflect a particular town or city.
Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I am genuinely excited and proud that we have taken a dilapidated and redundant building and are about to turn it into something that our residents will be proud of.
“The George Hotel was once the jewel in Huddersfield’s crown, and I am determined to see it restored to its rightful position in the town.
“We have ambitious plans for Huddersfield town centre, plans that will attract visitors from near and far. Having a hotel, of the quality that the Radisson RED brand brings, close to travel connections will only add to the appeal of a revitalised, vibrant destination.
“The Radisson Hotel Group brings with it the professionalism and expertise needed to make sure the hotel thrives, and I am delighted to be working with such a giant of the hospitality industry on this project.
“Radisson RED is a multi-national brand with hotels all over the world. Their commitment to invest in Huddersfield demonstrates that we are on the right path with our regeneration plans. A company of such stature choosing to come to Huddersfield is something we should all be proud of.
“Along with the Cultural Heart and the overall Huddersfield Blueprint, we are taking action to stop the decline of the town. High streets up and down the country have to look for ways to keep town centres alive. What we are doing in Huddersfield could set a great example to many.
“Kirklees is open for business and we will continue to invest in and regenerate our much-loved historic buildings.”
Adela Cristea, vice-president for business development UK & Ireland at Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We’re proud to expand our Radisson RED presence in the UK and we’re delighted to partner with Kirklees Council on this impressive project.
“It’s very exciting to be breathing new life into one of Huddersfield’s most iconic buildings by introducing the bold and vibrant brand to the town.”
Radisson RED Huddersfield will have 91 rooms which will feature Radisson RED’s signature cutting-edge design as well as references to the town’s history, culture and people.
The hotel will have a 100-cover banqueting suite at basement level with a 70-cover restaurant and bar on the ground floor. There will be two conference rooms and a fitness room for guests.
News that a deal has been signed was welcomed by Huddersfield Unlimited, a business-led organisation that stands for the town.
Programme director Charles Maltby said: “This is a fantastic success for the town of Huddersfield, to be welcoming a new top-class hotel as part of the international Radisson Group.
“This clearly indicates that Huddersfield is moving forwards, regenerating a historic building alongside Kirklees Council, and paving the way for more incoming investments, building the town’s vision.”