Planning permission is expected to be approved for the new £20 million George Hotel next month – but the potential opening date has been pushed back again.
The news comes as Kirklees Council has appointed award-winning strategic development partner Queensbury to work on the final construction stages and internal fit-out.
As work on the exterior stonework and roofs of the grade II-listed building has been revealed, attention will turn to the demolition and rebuild of the ‘newer’ parts of the building and the internal conversion into a Radisson RED hotel.
Together with the council and architects Bowman Riley, Queensberry will be working to refurbish the main grade II-listed frontage and the construction of what it describes as a “significant but sympathetic” extension to the rear.
The extension works to the rear have proved somewhat controversial, however, with The Victorian Society expressing concerns about the new wing facing the railway station, in particular. The society described the extension design as “inappropriate” so close to the grade I-listed station.
The society was also opposed to the demolition of the east wing facing John William Street, although the frontage will be retained.
As development partners, Queensberry has been involved throughout the project working alongside the council on aspects of the development from concept and feasibility to securing the hotel operator. It will now be involved in the detailed construction, fit-out design and construction delivery.
The new-look hotel will consist of 91 bedrooms, a ground-floor restaurant and bar to seat 70 people, a separate banqueting hall to seat 100 people, plus meeting and leisure facilities.
A Queensbury spokesman said the current phase of works involving the restoration of the existing façades and roofs will be completed in May 2023.
Planning permission for the redevelopment is expected in June 2023 along with the appointment of a main contractor.
Previously, the council has set estimated opening dates at Christmas 2024 and then winter 2024-25. Queensbury now says the construction could start in September 2023 with the hotel opening in spring/summer 2025.
Clr Graham Turner, Kirklees Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Our partnership with Queensbury is another positive step towards restoring the George Hotel to its former glory.
“We’ve made the agreement as restoration work continues on site and this news follows our partnership with international hotel operators Radisson RED which we announced earlier this year.
“Queensberry will be working with us to ensure the history and heritage of this beautiful building is preserved, while also bringing it into the 21st century, ready to open its doors as a prestigious hotel once more.
“Detailed plans for the George will be considered by the council’s Planning Committee next month. Once that process is complete, we will be able to finalise the timetable. It’s a complex project that will require a great deal of skill and attention to detail.
“We’re rightly ambitious to get this landmark development completed and open for use as soon as we can but complicated projects like this do take time and effort if they are to meet our ambitions to deliver a building that the residents of Huddersfield can be proud of and will serve them for many decades to come.”
To read more about Queensberry’s ongoing and completed projects, visit their website at: https://www.queensberryrealestate.com/