PLANS to transform a stately home to a luxury hotel and spa have been given the go-ahead.
And the plans could create up to 400 jobs.
Developers Rushbond plc have been granted permission for the 120-bedroom hotel and business park at Bretton Park, located in the grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The project will involve a total refurbishment of the existing grade-II listed Georgian mansion, and the building of a new bedroom wing.There will also be restaurants, bars, a spa, and conference and wedding facilities.
The first phase will create 77 rooms, with 120 expected in due course, and it is thought the hotel will have either 4 or 5 stars, depending on the facilities developed.
The existing stables, coach house, theatre, gym, and library will be converted into office buildings.
The plans are now subject to being signed off by Government ministers due to the size of the proposed office space.
Jonathan Maud, managing director of Rushbond Plc, said: “We have been working closely alongside Wakefield Council and Yorkshire Sculpture Park on this project, with the aim of creating an exemplary leisure and business environment that will significantly add to the current offer of the park.”
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is great news for Wakefield and for Yorkshire. The hotel’s unique position within the grounds of the internationally-acclaimed Yorkshire Sculpture Park will make it an attractive proposition in its own right and will further enhance the county’s reputation as a destination of choice for discerning leisure and business travellers.”
Clr Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, said he was delighted. “A new hotel and business park at Bretton will be a big boost to the local economy, creating jobs and adding a new attraction to our already strong tourism base. I look forward to seeing this ambitious project get off the ground as soon as possible.”
Wakefield Council acquired the Bretton Hall Estate from the University of Leeds in 2006 to make sure that the future use and management of the estate were in keeping with the environs of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
In the past Bretton was an acclaimed teaching centre for drama students.
Three of the creators of the cult TV show The League of Gentlemen – Jeremy Dyson, Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss – learned their craft at Bretton and other former students include playwrights John Godber and Kay Mellor.
The initial phase of construction will be for the hotel development and the first phase of the business park is expected to be available at the end 2014.