Manchester Town Hall boutique hotel plans scrapped

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 24 February 2017

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UK: Plans for a boutique hotel in part of Manchester Town Hall have been dropped due to the cost and risk involved.

UK: Plans for a boutique hotel in part of Manchester Town Hall have been dropped due to the cost and risk involved.

The city council first revealed plans for a refurbishment of the Victorian building last year, which included a boutique hotel as well a museum and updated offices for the council.

But the hotel plan has been deemed unfeasible, because it would cost £30 million in extra refurbishment costs and "place too much risk on the council".

According to a report in the Manchester Evening News, officials believe it is too difficult to predict levels of demand in five years' time, when the refurbishment is complete, and fear the council could be left without an operator if the market falters in that time. Plans for the offices and improved public access will go ahead.

Deputy council leader councillor Bernard Priest said: "Getting to this point has involved a long and meticulous process. But as a result of the rigorous work done we are confident that we have a scheme which will deliver real and enduring benefits for Manchester. Not only will it safeguard this much-loved masterpiece for current and future Mancunians, it will also improve public access to our town hall and its treasures and support the city's economy by giving the building an enhanced role as a visitor destination - and even potentially as a base for emerging businesses. Allowing this iconic building to slide into decay and disuse is not an option. We are confident that we have struck the right balance in these plans between introducing some commercial elements which will help generate income to support services and preserving the town hall's essential character."

The refurbishment will require all councillors and staff to move out for at least five years.

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