The first images of the £13m hotel planned for Huddersfield Town’s ground have been unveiled.
Developers behind the ambitious HD One scheme at the John Smith’s Stadium, which includes a ski slope, shops and restaurants, have formally applied for planning permission to build a four-star hotel.
The plan took a step forward last February when Kirklees Council agreed to loan £9m to the firm behind the plan, Kirklees Stadium Development Limited (KSDL).
Plans lodged with the council this week show the £13m six-storey hotel would be built close to the River Colne on what is currently the car park and base for the Direct Golf driving range.
And it has been confirmed that upmarket hotel chain Radisson will operate the 149-bed premises as one of its Park Inn hotels.
A riverside path and cycle route will be included in the redevelopment of the area.
The architects of the hotel says its design is reminiscent of the 19th century mills that used to be commonplace around town.
The plan has been referred to the council’s Strategic Planning Committee to be considered in the next few months.
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KSDL says the hotel will be the first phase of the overall HD One masterplan over the coming years.
Gareth Davies, from KSDL, told the Examiner the huge scheme was “evolving rapidly” and new designs would be revealed in the next few weeks.
Previous plans are set to be superceded as the project picks up pace after years of stalling.
Plans for a “tourist village” to help Huddersfield compete with Leeds and Manchester were first mooted in 2008.
Kirklees Council then gave outline permission for the scheme in 2010.
At the time bosses behind the plan said it could create up to 1,000 jobs and bring £100m of investment to the area.
But the developers struggled to get financiers to back the scheme and last year turned to Kirklees Council to kick-start construction.
The council has used its favourable borrowing facilities to loan £9m to KSDL, which it hopes it will get back while also creating jobs and further investment in town.
Councillors were told there was a shortage of higher quality hotels in Kirklees and Huddersfield University and other top businesses were forced to recommend accommodation outside of the borough to guests.
The lack of executive quality hotel rooms close to the stadium has been cited as part of the reason it has struggled to attract big events in recent years.
When launched as the McAlpine Stadium in 1994 it hosted global rock stars, including Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Elton John, the Eagles and REM.
But since the 1990s, apart from occasional rugby league international fixture, the 24,500 capacity stadium has been overlooked in favour of venues in Leeds or Manchester.