Luxury hotel at sculpture park set to boost tourism in county

YORKSHIRE’s tourism industry is set to be boosted after plans to transform historic Bretton Hall in the grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park into a luxury hotel were given the green light.

Bretton Hall

Planning permission for a first phase of development at Bretton Hall, a former University of Leeds Campus, has been granted by Wakefield Council.

Leeds-based developer Rushbond won planning consent from the local authority last February for an ambitious project to breathe new life in to the Grade II-listed Georgian mansion, which is set in the grounds of the award-winning sculpture park at West Bretton, Wakefield.

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Now Rushbond has been granted detailed planning permission to transform Bretton Hall, which dates back to the 1700s, in to a 40-bedroom hotel and spa with restaurants, conference room and wedding facilities.

Rushbond is planning three-storey extensions to the north and east wings of the hall to create 80 more hotel bedrooms.

Planning permission has also been granted for the first phase of a new business park at the sculpture park, which last month picked up the prestigious Art Fund Prize after it was named Museum of the Year.

Wakefield Council owns Bretton Hall and has agreed to lease it on a long term basis to Rushbond as the site is redeveloped.

Gary Verity, chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The regeneration of Bretton Hall into a quality hotel, set in a stunning location, is very exciting and will be another string to Yorkshire’s bow when it comes to tourism.

“It’s another example of the confidence that people have in investing in our county.”

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and skills said: “This is another milestone in the on-going development of the district as a tourism destination. Bretton Hotel and Spa will be a huge asset to the area, offering quality accommodation and leisure facilities to visitors in the heart of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle.

“The development will enhance our existing four-star hotel offer which includes Wentbridge House Hotel, recently awarded Yorkshire’s Large Hotel of the year, Cedar Court Hotel, which has just completed a £500,000 refurbishment and the historic Waterton Park Hotel, one of Yorkshire’s top wedding venues. We are sure that this new development will encourage more people to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and other local attractions.

“As overnight visitors spend, on average, £53.30 per person per night when they come to our area, this development will boost the local economy and support jobs in the long term.”

Belinda Eldridge, director of operations at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, said: “We are very excited to be working with Rushbond on their plans for Bretton Hall, which will safeguard its future, compliment the unique role and setting of Yorkshire Sculpture Park and contribute towards the local economy.

“As well as an extraordinary place to visit and experience world-class art set within 500 acres of historic landscape, heritage and the natural environment, the development of a hotel and business park will also allow YSP to be an exceptional place to stay and work.”

Mark Finch, director of the Bretton Investment Partnership, which is part of the Rushbond Group, said “We are delighted that our plans for the first phase of the Bretton Hall scheme, comprising of a 40 bedroom luxury hotel alongside the first element of a creative business and innovation hub, have now been granted.”