Work finally begins on £100m rural resort after two decades

Artists's impression of the Flaxby Park hotel development. Below: The current clubhouse
Artists's impression of the Flaxby Park hotel development. Below: The current clubhouse
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The developer behind a luxury £100m country resort, located between York and Harrogate, has announced that work on the project is due to finally get under way this month.

Skelwith Leisure, which is based in York, is developing the 300-room hotel and leisure development on the existing 27-hole Flaxby Park Golf course which will be one of the biggest hotels in the North of England when completed in 2015.

The current clubhouse  at Flaxby Park Golf Club

The current clubhouse at Flaxby Park Golf Club

The Flaxby Country Resort development will also feature a luxury spa and gym, restaurants and bars and boutiques.

Paul Ellis, managing director of Skelwith Leisure said: “It has been a long journey to be able to start work on this ambitious project but I am delighted now to be able to finally get cracking.

“We have been working hard for the last three years with Harrogate Council, North Yorkshire Council, the Highways Agency and various other parties to get to this position. It is a large and complex development and one which we feel will offer many benefits to the whole area.

“When opened, it will be one of the premier destinations in the North of England and will employ over 300 people.

“In the last three years we have successfully developed and opened Raithwaite Hall Country Retreat near Whitby and we have learned many lessons from that project that we will utilise for the Flaxby project.”

Speculation had mounted that the ambitious scheme – which has been in the pipeline for some time – to create the resort between York and Harrogate had fallen victim to the economic slump. But last night Skelwith Leisure confirmed it was due to begin work on on site on May 28.

Harrogate Borough Council granted permission for the Flaxby development in March 2010, in a planning saga dating back to 1992 when the proposals were first mooted.

But building work has been unable to start until lengthy discussions to agree planning and legal agreements with Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council had been signed.

All legal documents were signed in February and since then discussions have taken place with the county council to enable a start on site and to try to minimise disruption on the road network.

The first stage of the works will see a new roundabout built on the A59 and ground works carried out for the hotel.

Kevin Rouse, managing director of K Rouse, the main contractor for the first stage of the works said: “This is clearly a major project for the area and we delighted to deliver the infrastructure works. We will continue to work closely North Yorkshire and Harrogate Council’s to minimise any disruption during these works.”

Troon Golf, has been involved in the project for the past three years and will step up its role managing the course help to attract major events to Flaxby following the start on site.

Bruce Glasco, managing director, International operations Troon Golf EMEA and Asia Pacific said: “We have some fantastic ideas for golf course developments which will build on the good work and investment that has been on-going since our involvement started in 2010.

“The setting, course and layout of all 27 holes means that we can be very ambitious in our plans to improve the courses and attract high profile events over the coming years,” Mr Glasco added.

The hotel will be set in 283 acres of woodland. The development is due to include a floodlit driving range, restaurants, a luxury spa complex, bars and boutiques. It is expected that the hotel will open in 2015. The hotel is due to employ more than 300 people when fully up and running.