POLITICIANS have vowed to do all they can to get the George Hotel up and running again.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman is aiming to set up a Task Force to revive the doomed hotel, which shut down last week.
And Kirklees Council leader Mehboob Khan has pledged to ensure no red tape holds up any hotel group wanting to take over the business.
Clr Khan has also stressed that the council will do all it can to ensure the George remains as a hotel – and insisted it will never be allowed to be turned into apartments or a student hostel.
“It is vitally important that the George does not fall into the hands of speculators, who simply want to buy it up and hold on to it hoping things improve at some point in the future,” said Clr Khan.
“We have seen that happen elsewhere in Huddersfield with the railway warehouse project which has stalled.
“And we will certainly oppose any plans to create more student accommodation at such a prime site.”
Licensed Ventures No 2, the company behind the George Hotel, went bust on January 2 after landlord Marlbor Property Holdings failed to sell the hotel.
Rollings Oliver were appointed as liquidators and had to make the hotel’s 35 staff redundant.
The iconic hotel – birthplace of rugby league – shut down on Wednesday, January 2, and security staff are now guarding the building.
Clr Khan said: “We have seen what has happened with properties like the railway warehouse in Huddersfield and the Odeon in Bradford. They have been bought up but the developers have not progressed with their schemes.
“They hold on to these iconic buildings as assets hoping for things to change.
“I don’t want that to happen with the George Hotel, nor do I want to see it converted from a hotel into student accommodation or apartments.
“Local businesses in Huddersfield need a central 3 or 4-star hotel.
“As a council we will be talking with the receivers to try and help them find a buyer. It is a landmark listed building and we will do all we can to ensure that red tape does not hold up any necessary revamp.”
Mr Sheerman said he is arranging a meeting of all political groups and business leaders in Huddersfield to come up with ideas both for the George Hotel and for the whole St George’s Square area.
“We are talking about iconic landmarks in Huddersfield and we want the best for them. I have not been happy about some of the developments permitted around the Square and as regard the hotel itself, it is too precious to the town to let go.”