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 today given planning consent for the 140-bedroom hotel, which will be built at Genr8 Developments’ £170m Smithfield, Stoke-on-Trent mixed use quarter which is set to deliver up to 700,000 sq ft of Grade A office space. The scheme is set in 3.5 acres of public open spaces and will also deliver build to rent residential and associated retail, leisure and car parking.
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.
The first phase of Smithfield Stoke-on-Trent which included 210,000 sq ft of Grade A office was completed August 2015 and is now occupied by Stoke-on-Trent City Council along with private sector companies. Further phases are now in the pipeline including 3 Smithfield, a 50,000 sq ft office building.
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: “The fact an international brand like Hilton Garden Inn is coming to the city shows the confidence there is from the private sector and their presence alone will lead to further interest and business from investors. I’m looking forward to work starting on site and seeing the positive transformation this development will have 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 “This is an exciting time for the city and Smithfield and 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.’’
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 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.”