GB Group breaks ground on new Hilton Leeds Arena Hotel
On Monday 27 January 2014, The GB Group hosted a ground breaking ceremony to mark the start of work on its new £34m upscale hotel development in Leeds, the closest to the newly opened flagship First Direct Arena.
The owner and developer of the project, GB Group, invited partners, including all those who helped secure planning and funding for the landmark scheme, to a ceremony celebrating the first important milestone in the project, which will provide a multimillion pound boost to the city and wider region's economy.
It is anticipated that up to 100 long-term jobs will be created when the hotel is up and running, with the potential to create hundreds of temporary jobs during the construction period. The building is due for completion in autumn 2015.
The GB Group will retain ownership of the hotel, which will be operated as a Hilton Hotels & Resorts property under a franchise agreement with Hilton Worldwide. Once open, it will be managed by hospitality specialist Redefine BDL. GB Group’s construction arm, GB Building Solutions is building the 206-bedroom, 14-storey hotel, which will include a destination rooftop bar. The site, directly next to Leeds Metropolitan University’s Rose Bowl conferencing facility, is just 300m from the 13,500 capacity Leeds Arena.
GB Group executive chairman, Martin Smout was joined by Leeds City Region LEP chair, Roger Marsh; Nick Smart, vice president, development, North & West Europe, Hilton Worldwide; Martin Farrington, director of city development, and Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for development and the economy, at Leeds City Council; and David Willmott of Redefine BDL.
Commenting, Martin Smout said: “This is an important milestone for the GB Group that has been over seven years in the making. We are extremely proud of the fact that this is the only new upscale hotel development north of the M25 in the last five years, and would like to thank everyone who has helped us pull together this deal, during the recession, to make this new hotel project a reality.
“This scheme in the up-and-coming entertainment quarter of the city will provide many short-term and some longer-term jobs once the hotel is open, and also enhance the local offer for business and leisure travellers. We are excited to be working in and with the Leeds community, and to further developing our relationships within Yorkshire’s vibrant property sector.”
Roger Marsh, Leeds City Region LEP chair, said: “I am delighted that work has begun on this upscale development, bringing further jobs and prosperity to the Leeds City Region.
“Working with GB Group on the remediation of the site, this investment demonstrates that the LEP is providing the vital funds to kick-start infrastructure projects and develop a derelict location into a state of the art site, to serve the business and visitor needs of the region.
“I look forward to following the progress of this development and meeting with the new staff and apprentices that are employed along the way.”
Photo caption: (Pictured right to left) GB Group executive chairman, Martin Smout was joined by Leeds City Region LEP chair, Roger Marsh and Nick Smart, vice president, development, North & West Europe, Hilton Worldwide at the ground breaking ceremony to mark the start of work on the new £34m Hilton Leeds Arena Hotel.
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