At today’s cabinet meeting, Kirklees Council Cabinet have approved the next steps for the refurbishment and redevelopment of the George Hotel, Huddersfield. Also approved is to move forward to a formal agreement with the council’s preferred hotel operator.

The George Hotel is a vital part of Huddersfield’s heritage, it is in a highly prominent location on St George’s Square and close to Huddersfield Railway Station. The council purchased the vacant building in 2020 with a commitment to bring it back into use and restore it to its former glory in the heart of Huddersfield. Since then the council have carried out extensive surveys and works to make the building safe. Earlier this year, essential remedial works started to make the building safe and watertight and also to preserve the heritage and character of this Grade II* Listed building.

In May 2022, the council revealed that it was exploring the possibility of attracting a hotel operator. The preferred hotel operator has been selected as the result of a robust and competitive process with Radisson Hotel Group being the preferred partner.

Now that the proposals have been approved by cabinet, a Hotel Management Agreement will be drawn up with Radisson Hotel Group.

Research, commissioned by the council, into the demand for a hotel of this quality in Huddersfield suggests that, due to a limited supply of upscale, full-service branded hotels in the town, there is a strong market opportunity for this type of hotel concept.

The report presented to cabinet asked for the allocation of £20million to complete the work needed to restore and redevelop the building to make sure it is in prime condition to be transformed into a quality hotel.

Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:

“I am genuinely excited and proud that we have taken a dilapidated 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 quality hotel close to travel connections will only add to the appeal of a revitalised, vibrant destination.

“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.”

The development of the George Hotel is just one part of Kirklees Council’s ambitious Huddersfield Blueprint: a ten-year vision to create a thriving, modern-day town centre that will be accessible, busy, inclusive, family-friendly, sustainable and a safe environment that will stay open longer. The significant regeneration and investment planned for the town will transform Huddersfield, helping to stimulate and induce demand for domestic and international tourism.