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Ken Bates plans two hotels at Elland Road

LEEDS United chairman Ken Bates plans to transform the club's Elland Road ground with an ambitious scheme that includes two hotels, a shopping centre and a health club.

The hotels, a budget proposition and a four-star offering, would be built in an L shape on the site currently occupied by a souvenir shop.

The development would also include food outlets and a Leeds United museum.

Details of the plan were announced by Mr Bates in the match programme for United's derby game against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

He said the hotels would strengthen the club's conference and banqueting (C&B) business, and added: "I believe that the income from an enlarged C&B market would enable us to buy a quality player every year!"

So far no start date for the development has been announced.

Mr Bates says his plans complement those of Leeds City Council, which owns much of the land surrounding the ground.

In September, the council floated the idea of building a new railway station as part of wider plans for a leisure development.

The council's own plans for the area include proposals for an entertainment arena, casino, hotel, health club, police headquarters, cafes, bars and parking for about 2,700 cars.

The east coast railway line borders the site and the idea of building a station at Elland Road has been discussed several times over the last 20 years.

Council leader Andrew Carter said when the latest plan was unveiled: "All members would like to see a halt but it would be dependent on the developments that take place and the value of those developments.

"In the past the line has not had sufficient capacity and there has been no money to build the facility. However, we have to fight for it because it would benefit the city in general."

The Elland Road ground was sold to Manchester businessman Jacob Adler by a previous United board in late 2004, with Leeds taking a 25-year lease on the site. It was sold on to British Virgin Islands-based Teak Commercial Limited in 2005.

Mr Bates has said he intends to buy back Elland Road "in the fullness of time".

 
 
 

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