Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Contractor Sought for Hotel Transformation; in Association with LEISURE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Contractor Sought for Hotel Transformation; in Association with LEISURE

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

AMAIN contractor is being sought to transform former council offices in Durham city centre into an 81-bed Hotel Indigo.

It was announced in April that a PS15m redevelopment will take place at the Grade II-listed Old Shire Hall in Durham city centre, which will be converted into a hotel, complete with a 150-cover Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill.

The property, built in 1896 to house the county council and used as the headquarters of the university until 2012, has been renovated by developer Kevin Brown and his business partner Shaun Crawley, who formed the joint venture Elvet Development Ltd, and is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2017.

Now Durham architectural practice Howarth Litchfield, in its role as project architect, is looking to appoint a main contractor for the multi-million-pound refurbishment of the building.

With plans to create the four-star Hotel Indigo - a boutique brand from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) - the completed project will make a substantial contribution to Durham's attractiveness as a tourism and leisure destination and around 60 new jobs will also be created.

Howarth Litchfield was selected for the project through recommendation and because of the practice's experience in the hotels and conservation sectors, as well as its local knowledge.

The firm's role as project architect and principal designer has seen its building surveyors carrying out detailed dimensional and condition surveys of the building so that accurate plans could be drawn up for the interior arrangement of the hotel together with schedules of vital repair and conservation work.

The interiors team has also worked with IHG to develop the three 'pillars' of the interior design concept required by the Indigo brand, and the interior themes of the hotel's rooms are to be based on the neighbourhood story of Old Shire Hall.

Gordon Brewis, director at Howarth Litchfield, said: "We were thrilled to be appointed to help renovate and refurbish such an historic building, right on our doorstep, which contains some fine examples of Victorian architecture. …

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