The care and leisure group created 19 new rooms and 18 new apartments at The County Hotel as part of its investments
North East leisure and care company Gainford Group has completed a £3.1m refurbishment programme at one of Newcastle’s best known hotels. Gainford Group snapped up The County Hotel opposite Central Station in 2016, outbidding rivals to acquire it in a £12m deal with previous owners Mercure. The firm, which owns five other hotels including the Vermont and New Bridge hotels in Newcastle city cente, has invested heavily since taking on the property, creating new bars and restaurants, including The Hudson, as well as new conference and events facilities.
Now the firm has completed its multimillion-pound makeover through its final phase, to overhaul each of the its 114 bedrooms while also creating 19 new rooms and 18 apartments in an adjoining extension.
Director Imran Khaliq said: “It’s taken us five months to get all the rooms refurbished and this includes the extension on to Westgate road. “The hotel now has 133 bedrooms and 18 apartments in an extension which was built in 2018 to work alongside the hotel. We completed our function and meeting rooms in September 2019. The total spend of the refurbishment was £3.1m and it has created another 70 jobs.
“As far as construction work goes the hotel is completed but The Hudson is having an extension to its bar area.”
The firm had been working at Livello, its popular nighttime venue on Newcastle, and was planning to open last month, before the coronavirus lockdown measures were announced. The £1.2m makeover will reveal big changes when it reopens, with new themes and colours in extended bars, new seating and lighting and a new extension to replace the old conservatory.
Gainford also has plans for one of its recent acquisitions, the 170-bed New Bridge Hotel, formerly a Premier Inn on New Bridge Street West. At the moment, however, Gainford Group says the hotel, could be used to accommodate NHS staff between shifts over the coming months and it is in discussions with health trusts as to how it could be used.
Mr. Khaliq said: “Our plan is to move focus towards the build of the Vermont Sky Lounge that was granted planning last year. “We are working closely with Newcastle city council on the final details of the New Bridge site.” Meanwhile, it is yet to reveal plans for Newcastle’s Moot Hall, which was built in 1812, the Grade I-listed property it bought earlier this year.
The building was used as Newcastle’s Crown Court and has more recently been used to host wedding ceremonies, conferences and seminars. Part of the sale conditions was that the building would still be available to the courts service until 2022.
Mr Khaliq added: “We have not yet considered our plans for Moot Hall as the CPS are still occupying the building.”