Exciting new plans to breath life back into an historic Alnwick building and bring more tourists to the town centre have moved a step closer with a new hotel on Bailiffgate receiving planning approval.
Plans to convert the buildings at 2 – 8 Bailiffgate and add an extension on the land to the rear, were submitted to the Council planners by site owners Northumberland Estates back in May of last year. With planning now granted it is hoped that construction work could begin as soon as Spring 2021.
Once complete the new hotel, which will see £7.9 million invested by Northumberland Estates, will offer 47 rooms plus a restaurant, bar, fitness centre and meeting rooms. The walled garden to the rear will be converted into parking for up to 51 cars plus cycle storage. The gardens will be landscaped and the view opened up for visitors to gaze down to the Lion Bridge and out over the surrounding Capability Brown Parkland.
Northumberland Estates already has an operator lined up, with the team from well-established Alnwick boutique hotel, The Cookie Jar looking to take the running of the hotel on once complete.
Says Guy Munden, Development planner with Northumberland Estates, “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 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 the towns 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 cafes 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.”