All the best new venues and breath-taking refurbishments in North England and the Midlands as spotted by the H&E North team…
New Venues in the North West of England
Lancashire Cricket has announced that the Trafford council has approved the next phase of the redevelopment at Emirates Old Trafford. The redevelopment aims to include a new 4,850-seater stand with a pitch view suite, enhanced member facilities, a heritage centre, a ticket office and retail shop. The new stand will expand the capacity of Emirates Old Trafford to 26,700.
The redevelopment plans coincide with the transformation of the town hall into a new ‘civic quarter,’ which will cover a 120-acre site also including the former Kellogg’s site and White City retail park. The Hilton Garden Inn hotel will also be expanded as part of the redevelopment. The council has created proposals for the new area which include building a new leisure centre, opportunities for new homes and offices and improved pedestrian and cycle routes.
Blackpool has long been regarded as the entertainment capital of the North West, with millions of visitors flocking to the world-famous seaside town each year. Now the resort’s multimillion-pound investment programme continues with the summer’s eagerly awaited opening of another luxury hotel. The £12 million Boulevard Hotel comprises 120 stylish rooms, including eight junior suites, two park view suites and eight coastal suites, all with either coastal vistas or direct views of the attractions and rollercoasters. The Shoreside Conference Centre meanwhile, with its state-of-the-art technology and bespoke event planning, can cater for up to 200 delegates. It is also complemented by a 90-seat signature restaurant, The Beachside, which uses locally sourced ingredients to create an array of exquisite dishes from around the globe.
Commercial real estate consultancy OBI has opened a multi-functional café bar and business venue in the heart of Manchester city centre. The Difference, named after the nine-year-old company’s slogan, is located a few doors away from the OBI Group’s headquarters on Mosley Street, one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares.
Visitors can expect a fast paced ‘grab and go’ coffee offer, pizza served from lunchtime onwards while a bar opens early evening. The environment also contains a high-tech meeting and events space boasting large presentation screens and market-leading technology – available for anything from presentations to company away days and catered dining. Branding and product launches will also be held in a private merchandising space within The Difference.
The Lowry Hotel in Manchester, voted as one of Condé Nast Traveller’s 35 best hotels in the UK 2019, has added a completely new type of suite to its luxury room offering. The newly built junior suites are perfect for those looking for that extra bit of room, including a spacious sleeping space, large dressing room and a relaxation area with views of the river and cityscape beyond. The new luxury suite was created by renowned interior designers, Goddard Littlefair.
As well as the new junior suites, other developments include a redesign of the hotel’s luxury lobby, upgrades of its meeting space and a huge makeover of the River Restaurant and bar area. Also refurbished this year, the 2,228 sq ft Presidential Suite, famous for its VIP guests. The renovations totalled £700,000 and include a complete reconfiguration and redesign of the space, an enlarged dressing room and a new bespoke marble bathroom.
New Venues in Cumbria
Storrs Hall, the luxury four-star hotel on the shores of Lake Windermere, is now taking bookings for its new wood view and lake view cabins following a £1 million investment programme. Sitting in an area of woodland adjacent to the main hotel, the Georgian manor house previously closed its nine woodland self-catering lodges in January 2019 and has spent the last year transforming the space into six luxurious guest rooms, which offer a unique combination of uncompromised luxury and elevated views over Lake Windermere and the grounds at Storrs Hall.
Hardwood floors, super king-size beds and soft furnishings in neutral fabrics aim to create a relaxing atmosphere, while lakeland slate terraces with cedar wood Japanese bathing tubs provide the perfect place to unwind. Two cabins have also been specifically designed with mobility access in mind, with widened doorways and showers adapted to accommodate wheelchair users.
New Venues in the Midlands
The Grand Hotel, housed in one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings overlooking the city’s prestigious Colmore Row, will once again open its doors to the public in the summer of 2020, following a dramatic restoration that will return the city centre landmark to its former glory.
The luxury hotel, a Grade II listed building, will be home to 185 spacious rooms and suites, retaining the building’s mix of French Renaissance, Victorian and Art Deco features and paying homage to its illustrious history. The centrepiece Grosvenor ballroom will be the jewel in the hotel’s crown and is sure to become Birmingham’s premier event space for all occasions. The restoration also includes new penthouse suites with spectacular views across St Phillip’s Cathedral and the city beyond; a sunken rooftop garden terrace, two new bars and a destination restaurant, a gymnasium, state-of-the-art meeting rooms, collaboration areas, and event spaces.
Set in a vibrant city-centre location, surrounded by restaurants, bars and other cultural attractions, the much-anticipated hotel will set a new bar for luxury accommodation in Birmingham, offering high-end service and surroundings tailored for the needs of today’s modern traveller. The hotel has enjoyed an illustrious past, having played host to a long list of royalty and famous names including King George VI, Malcolm X, Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill and James Cagney.
The De Vere East Midlands Conference Centre on the University Park campus at the University of Nottingham is in the midst of a major refurbishment. More than £2 million is being invested to reinvigorate the award-winning conference facility which will be unveiled at the end of spring 2020.
The project, which is set to modernise the venue with state-of-the-art design and equipment including an impressive video wall, comes as the conference centre celebrates its 35th anniversary. The three month-long refurbishment programme includes the remodelling of the venue’s atrium area creating a collaborative space. The refreshed meeting rooms and banqueting spaces will enrich delegate experience alongside the installation of cutting-edge audio-visual technology.
As well as enhanced event spaces, the work will also see investment in several facilities as part of the venue’s ongoing drive to operate more sustainably, including the installation of new hydration stations throughout the venue, new food and beverage offerings, new break-out spaces, the refurbishing of over 900 banquet chairs and installation of a digital signage package throughout to reduce the need for printing.
Leicester hotels Novotel and Adagio and independent restaurant NineB opened their doors for the first time recently. The £50 million regeneration of the wider Great Central Square development area, for which planning began in 2013, is designed to attract more visitors to the city and provide high quality leisure space for its residents.
Local businesses and visiting companies can utilise the Novotel and Adagio’s 252 rooms that cater for over 500 guests, as well as bespoke meeting spaces and boardrooms. The independent restaurant and bar NineB, located in the same building as the hotels, will provide hotel and apartment guests, local office workers, shoppers and residents with a stylish city centre space to eat, drink and socialise, offering modern British food with an international twist.
New Venues in Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
The landmark investment project at Leeds Town Hall will see the town hall, opened by Queen Victoria back in 1858, undergo extensive improvement work over the next three years, including the creation of exciting new events spaces and facilities.
One of the city’s most recognisable buildings, the town hall will also benefit from new seating and enhanced sound proofing in the beautiful Victoria Hall, two new bars, a new event space for smaller events, more toilet facilities and a completely new interior decoration scheme for all public areas. A Grade I listed building, the hall was built between 1853 and 1858 at a cost of £43,835 and was designed by Hull-born architect Cuthbert Brodrick. Welcoming more than 340,000 visitors last year, in addition to the town hall’s role as a conference venue, weddings, graduations and elections also take place in the historic building.
Matthew Sims, Head of Arts, Events and Venues at Leeds City Council said: “Leeds Town Hall is the heartbeat of this great city. This refurbishment will enable this wonderful building to continue to play a major role in the lives of the people of Leeds for generations to come.”
Lincolnshire Showground has announced an investment of over £800,000 in the renovation of its Exhibition Hall – now known as the EXO Centre – to create a contemporary and inclusive education and events facility. Owned by the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, a charitable organisation promoting food, farming and the countryside with an environmentally sustainable philosophy, the investment into the EXO Centre will enable it to host more events for more people, no matter what their needs.
Construction works have now started on the existing building, which will renovate and fully modernise the 1,623 m2 space, bringing the first multifunctional and inclusive event space of its kind to Lincolnshire. Due for completion in May this year, the EXO Centre works will utilise the current framework of the building; completely renovating the entrance and reception area, main hall, multi-functional educational space, satellite kitchen and toilet facilities to create a more modern, inclusive and versatile environment for visitors.
Eco-friendly features include the installation of interior and exterior LED lighting, with the latter having movement detection and daylight shut off, thermal glazing, new insulation to increase U-value and cedar cladding to the exterior of the building.
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Featured Image: Proposed New Stand at Emirates Old Trafford