North East-based commercial property developer Kevin Brown and his business partner Shaun Crawley have successfully completed a £15 million deal with Maven Capital Partners for the sale and refurbishment of the Grade II listed Shire Hall in Durham city centre.
Originally built in 1896 as the headquarters for Durham County Council, Shire Hall will be sympathetically renovated into a Hotel Indigo, the up-market, boutique brand of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), with a 150-cover Marco Pierre White (MPW) Steakhouse Bar & Grill.
The conversion will create an 81-bedroomed 4-star boutique hotel and is set to generate up to 60 new jobs in the city. The hotel will be managed by market leading Interstate Hotels and Resorts.
Kevin Brown, who bought Shire Hall in 2014 and secured planning permission for its redevelopment, will work alongside Shaun Crawley through their joint venture Elvet Developments Ltd (EDL) to lead the renovation and refurbishment on behalf of Maven Capital Partners.
EDL have appointed Gordon Brewis from Durham-based architects Howarth Litchfield as lead designer on the project.
Developer Kevin Brown said: “It’s taken just over a year to find the right buyer and broker the deal. From the outset it has been vital to find the right partners to produce an outstanding hotel for the city and equally as important, to secure Shire Hall’s future and prevent any further deterioration and damage to the building.
“Durham enjoys strong demographics in terms of local spending power with a key role played by Durham University, one of best in the UK with an enviable international reputation. Tourism plays a significant part in Durham’s economy, but there is a widely recognised shortage of quality hotel accommodation. The new hotel will meet the need for high quality accommodation in the city centre and also provide another prestigious eatery with its Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill.
“On completion, the new hotel should attract up to 21,000 new visitors to the city annually and guests will enjoy the fantastic views of Durham Castle and Cathedral in the heart of Durham’s historic city centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site.”
A fine example of late Victorian architecture, the property boasts a number of impressive period features such as the grand tiled marble staircases, wood panelling and stained glass windows that will be retained and form the basis for the 81 en-suite bedrooms. The circular debating chamber and lobby room will also be retained, providing an iconic setting for a cocktail bar and the MPW restaurant.
The refurbishment of Shire Hall is expected to take 15 months, with the hotel being scheduled to open in the autumn of 2017.