Hotel hopes to revitalise city district with £8m investment

DEVELOPERS behind plans to build an £8m boutique hotel have claimed it will breathe new life into one of the most rundown areas of York city centre.

Up to 40 new jobs are due to be created at the proposed 102-bedroom hotel in Walmgate, and councillors are expected to grant planning permission this week.

The York-based developer, S Harrison, has joined forces with Sojourn Hotels for the venture, which is hoped will boost the Walmgate area.

S Harrison Developments Limited's design manager, Chris Hale, said: "This scheme offers so much to the city. As a high quality operator Sojourn Hotels will increase choice for visitors, and the location, within walking distance of city attractions, will boost the economy."

The new hotel, which will operate under the Indigo brand, is earmarked for a site currently occupied by a motorcycle clothing and accessory store, Infinity.

The proposals involve demolishing the existing building to replace it with a three-storey hotel, which would incorporate a fourth floor in its roof space. The Infinity store is due to relocate to nearby Piccadilly, where managers plan to re-open in March.

S Harrison developed new student accommodation on Percy's Lane and Gray's Wharf close to the proposed hotel site, which is also located next to the National Early Music Centre (NCEM).

Parents of students and visitors to the NCEM are expected to be among the hotel's customers. York Council's officers have recommended the planning application should be approved when councillors meet on Thursday.