Work to build a Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Stoke-on-Trent city centre is set to start before the end of the year – after plans for the major development were given the green light.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has given planning consent for the 140-bedroom hotel, which will be built at the Smithfield development.
Plans for the hotel, which is expected to create more than 50 jobs, were first announced in March. The planning approval comes just days after Stoke-on-Trent celebrated being named as a finalist in the UK City of Culture 2021 competition. The hotel will not only deliver an economic boost to the area but also high-quality accomodation, which could be critical to the success of the 2021 bid, as well as providing meeting and conference facilities.
Cllr David Conway, leader of the city council, said: “I’m delighted the plans for this landmark hotel have been given the go-ahead. This will be a major milestone in the continued transformation of the city centre and will improve the hotel offer in Stoke-on-Trent, which is vital if we are to be successful with our UK City of Culture 2021 bid.
“In Hull they are expecting their programme of events to bring a million visitors to the city, so accomodation is something we have to seriously look at. However, even if we are not successful with our bid, this is one of the most exciting cities in the UK right now and we need to see our hotel and accomodation offer evolve to match our ambitions. For cities of similar sizes to us, it is an area where we fall behind at present.”
Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “Hilton Garden Inn is an international brand. To have such a company coming to our city shows the huge confidence there is from the private sector. Their presence alone will lead to further investment, and more businesses, coming to the city. I’m looking forward to work starting on site and seeing the positive transformation of this new development for Stoke-on-Trent.”
The new hotel will be delivered by Genr8 and the city council, showing leadership and intent by the city council to drive the economy and accelerate growth in the city. Genr8 will start the tender process to find the main construction contractor for the hotel in September. The new hotel is expected to welcome its first guests in 2019 and will be within walking distance of the main retail area, museum and theatres, and within a short drive to national attractions such as Alton Towers and Trentham Gardens.
Richard Ingham, partner at Genr8, said: “The news that planning consent has been granted is another important milestone in the delivery of the new Hilton Garden Inn and our wider Smithfield scheme. This is an exciting time for the city and Smithfield.”
David Frost CBE, chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “We are delighted to see rapid progress on the Hilton Hotel scheme. It will be a great asset in the continued transformation of Stoke-on-Trent’s city centre and a valuable boost to the UK City of Culture 2021 bid.
“Stoke-on-Trent has a rising national and international profile as a tourism destination thanks to its heritage, culture and vibrant ceramics sector, as well as the amazing countryside on the city’s doorstep. It is excellent news for our local economy that the city is developing the hotel and leisure facilities to match its tourism potential.”