Kirklees Council could help fund John Smith's Stadium hotel

THE OPERATOR of Huddersfield's John Smith's Stadium has asked Kirklees Council to make £9 million available to help build a new hotel.

A hotel could be built next to the John Smith's Stadium

The hotel already has planning permission and is due to form part of the wider HD One development on land around the stadium which will also include a new ski slope.

It is estimated the 149 room hotel would cost around £13 million and stadium operator KSDL has asked the council to underwrite up to £9 million of debt over 25 years to help fund the project.

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A report prepared for councillors says there is a clear case for a three or four star hotel with provision currently dominated by budget chains.

It says: “This is seen as a reasonably significant disadvantage to the Stadium in terms of hosting major sporting events and the conferencing offer at the Stadium, as some potential customers require overnight accommodation.

“Huddersfield University also experiences problems in identifying suitable hotel accommodation in close proximity to the University campus, to support conferencing and visiting academics.

“The availability of a business class hotel serving Huddersfield town centre, would also support local businesses and the potential to attract leisure visitors to the town.”

The report suggests the hotel could be built earlier than the rest of HD One and could give confidence to other investors to back the wider scheme but the case for the hotel can be made as a stand alone project.

It suggests the structure of the debt facility should mean it can be provided “at no overall cost to the council.

However it also warns councillors that there would be a risk to the authority that the project would not generate the cashflow expected.

Coun Graham Turner, the portfolio holder for resources and community safety, will present the report to fellow senior councillors next week.

The council’s executive will be asked to authorise officers to develop more detailed proposals over how the debt facility could be provided.