The scheme includes ground floor retail. Credit: LCC

Premier Inn lined up for Kirkgate Market hotel

Plans submitted by Leeds City Council in August for the 143-bedroom scheme on the George Street side of the listed market will be heard next week, with the operator now confirmed.

LCC’s city plans panel will consider the proposals on 30 November. If approved, a start date in 2024 is the aim.

The council has also confirm Whitbread brand Premier Inn as the proposed operator of the hotel.

A pre-let lease has been agreed with Premier Inn, a brand familiar to both business and leisure travellers which boasts year-round occupancy levels above 80% across its hotel network.

The George Street hotel would create approximately 50 new full and part-time jobs locally once operational, with around 80 jobs being supported during construction.

The site earmarked for the scheme is owned by the council and is currently occupied by a number of vacant low-rise shop units.

Premier Inn would fill the top five floors of the new six-storey building and would have 143 rooms as well as a bar and restaurant for guests.

The ground floor is earmarked for commercial units and a council-run gym.

LCC will develop the scheme, looking for a stylish addition to an area that has seen new or updated projects including the Victoria Gate retail destination, Leeds Playhouse and Leeds City College’s Quarry Hill campus.

It is also hoped that the hotel would help drive extra footfall to the market, already thriving on the back of a multi-million pound investment programme.

Cllr Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “We’re proud of the positive difference we have made at Leeds Kirkgate Market, where monthly visitor numbers hit the half-a-million mark earlier this year.

“We are determined to keep building on that success, with the plans for the George Street hotel underlining the scale of our ambitions for both the market and the continued regeneration of the surrounding area.

“The new development would provide a much-improved connection between the market and Victoria Gate, while also acting as an attractive linking point in the wider flow of the city centre from Vicar Lane towards the Eastgate roundabout and Quarry Hill.

“We are pleased to be working on this project with Premier Inn, which has a commitment to delivering quality and good value that mirrors our own approach as a council.”

LCC wants to link recent developments including the Victoria retail offer. Credit: LCC

Paul Smith, acquisitions manager for Whitbread, said: “From independent research we know that Premier Inn customers spend £140 per night per bedroom outside of our hotels when they stay in city centre locations like George Street in Leeds.

“This money excludes what our guests spend on their accommodation, with food and drink, entertainment and non-food shopping being the largest categories of spending.

“Importantly, most of this money is spent in the local area around our hotels as our guests go out and about to get a taste for where they are staying.

“Multiplying this figure across a high-occupancy 143-bedroom Premier Inn on George Street would generate a multi-million pound boost to the local economy, helping to support the many established and independent businesses in the market and elsewhere across Leeds city centre.”

An initial pre-application report on the scheme was considered by the council’s city plans panel in June.

That meeting was followed by a period of consultation, with those invited to comment including traders at the grade one-listed market, ward councillors and stakeholders such as Leeds Civic Trust.

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