£7.9million hotel approved for site next to Alnwick Castle
22 January 2021A £7.9million hotel development in the heart of Alnwick, Northumberland has been approved.
The Northumberland Estates’ 47-room proposal, which includes the former buildings on Bailiffgate used by the Duchess’s Community High School, was approved by the North Northumberland Local Area Council on Thursday, January 21.
Members voted by six to two, with two abstentions, to support the scheme, as well as to grant listed building consent, in line with the recommendation from county council planning officers.
The Estates already has an operator lined up, with the team from well-established boutique hotel The Cookie Jar looking to take on its running once complete.
Numbers 2-8 Bailiffgate will be converted to form 14 hotel suites/apartments, while some buildings to the rear will be demolished to allow the construction of a new four-storey block to the rear, with a terraced frontage along The Peth, to provide another 33 rooms, which would be connected to the existing buildings by a glazed link.
The bid also includes the refurbishment of the former school gym building to create a series of new fitness studios.
Following the decision, Guy Munden, development planner with the Estates, said: “This is a great project for Alnwick, one which will bring tourists directly into the town centre and, at the same time, breathe new life into this historic site.
“The Bailiffgate buildings have been empty since the Duchess’s High School left for their new premises back in 2016. This project seeks to create the extra visitor accommodation the area has been shown to need as well as bringing new jobs to the town.
“With more visitors looking to come to Northumberland even in the winter months, the hotel should bring a welcome boost to the town’s tourism trade. Ideally located just a short walk from both the Castle and the town centre, visitors will be able to take advantage of all Alnwick’s many amenities from shops and cafés to pubs, museums and other tourist attractions such as Barter Books.
“The hotel is also a huge construction project, and we are keen to involve as many local business and tradesmen as possible during the building phase, hopefully providing a much-needed boost to employment in the area at this very difficult time.”