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City centre hotel set for transformation

City centre hotel set for transformation
Posted 28th March 2018

Gainford Group plans to turn former Premier Inn into the city's most luxurious hotel, complete with a rooftop bar and restaurant.

Developers will create 300 new jobs with plans to transform one of Newcastle’s biggest hotels in a multimillion-pound deal.

Gainford Group has pledged to turn the former Premier Inn in New Bridge Street into the most luxurious hotel in Newcastle in a move which will also create a new gateway into the city.

The growing care and leisure group already own the Vermont Hotel and Vermont Aparthotel on Newcastle Quayside, the County Hotel opposite Central Station and the forthcoming County Aparthotel on Westgate Road.

Gainford Group has snapped up the former Premier Inn hotel in a multimillion-pound deal

Now the family firm has taken on its fifth and biggest leisure challenge to date, by completing the deal to purchase the 180-bed former Premier Inn hotel, which was sold for an undisclosed sum after being marketed with an asking price of at least £3.2m.

The deal safeguards 50 jobs – all of the hotel’s existing staff – and triggers the start of a huge project to completely refurbish the hotel to bring it in line with the rest of the group’s portfolio, which also includes Aveika, Livello and The Hudson.

Around 300 jobs are set to be created or safeguarded through the makeover project – 150 new jobs in the hotel and 150 through the construction phase – which will get underway this summer.

The firm said the building lies in a currently neglected part of the city centre, but its plans aim to make the hotel the focal point of the area’s rejuvenation, which also includes development work unfolding close by at East Pilgrim Street through the creation of Stack Newcastle, the shipping container leisure and commercial destination.

Plans are being drawn up with Newcastle architecture practice IDPartnership to open a rooftop bar and restaurant with a glass ‘jewel box’, a luxury spa and a gym, while also modernising all 180 bedrooms.

The property deal comes 18 months after Gainford Group bought the County Hotel opposite Central Station in its first acquisition following a refinancing deal with help from banking giant Santander. The finance package also funded this latest acquisition.

It has not been disclosed how much will be spent on the transformation, but the project to convert the 114-bed County Hotel saw it spend £8m, giving a solid indication of its intent to invest heavily in the new purchase.

Chris Welch from Sintons law firm advised the family in the property deal, which also involved Johnson Tucker and Christie & Co property agents.

A spokesman for Gainford Group said: “We want this to be the most luxurious hotel in Newcastle".

“All the staff who currently work at the hotel will keep their jobs and we’re looking to create many more jobs at the hotel too, with around 200 employees there once all the work is completed.

“We have big plans to create a rooftop bar and restaurant giving views over the city, a spa and to bring lots of other facilities in for guests.

“Our aim is to make the connection between that area and the rest of the city. At the moment it almost acts as a barrier to the city so we want to open it up and make a grand entrance to the city centre – create a new gateway".

The Gainford Group
The Gainford Group