High-rise hotel, Hull's tallest building, to bring jobs boom
A NEW £30-million hotel and conference centre has been hailed a major step forward for Hull.
With construction work expected to start next year, the 22-storey complex earmarked for a site in High Street next to Myton Bridge will be the tallest building in the city.
It will be twice the size of the nearby tidal barrier, dominating the city skyline.
About 150 full and part-time jobs will be created as well as hundreds more in construction.
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Operated as a four-star Radisson Blu, the hotel will have 243 bedrooms as well as health and leisure facilities.
The upper two floors will include bars giving panoramic views across the city and estuary.
Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson said: "This is a good development, particularly for the city centre, and hopefully provides the platform for further investment in an extremely attractive area."
Hull East MP Karl Turner said: "Significant investment in Hull is always very welcome and this development seems very impressive.
"With Siemens hopefully coming in Hull, this is exactly the sort of thing we need to be seeing.
"It should mean new jobs and that's got to be good news."
Architect Marcus Claridge said: "We are bringing a new iconic building into the landscape with high-class facilities.
"Radisson Blu has signed up for a four-star hotel and we are confident of delivering something really special for Hull."
He said Hull-born developer Tim Fulstow was currently in pre- contract discussions with three firms to build the hotel and 1,000-seat conference centre.
Mr Claridge said: "They are mix of national and regional names. Tim is very keen to keep the project team as local to Hull as possible."
He said detailed talks had also been held with Radisson over its requirements for the building as well as council planning officers.
"We spent a lot of time going through the pre-application process fine-tuning the design and listening to what the people at the council were keen on," he said.
"They have been really supportive throughout and we have been pleasantly surprised how quickly it has all been since we first approached them last year.
"We have had three pre-application meetings in the same time you might expected to have one in London.
"The overall design has changed from the beginning because of that but it has been a change for the better.
"Radisson is keen to come to Hull and it has been heavily involved in the internal layouts.
"Obviously, there are now a number of planning conditions to work through but I would expect we would be in a position to start work on site early next year once a main contractor has been chosen."
Planning approval for the ambitious scheme was granted by city councillors yesterday.
Councillor Tom McVie said: "Given the opportunity to attract such a quality building, this is a major chance for the city to take a step forward.
"I am absolutely sure other applications will come in on the back of the Siemens development and we need sites like this to be ready."
He said a significant amount of work had already been done on preparing the plans.
Some nearby residents and conservation groups have expressed concerns about its impact on the historic Old Town area of the city.
Local historian John Morfin, who spoke at the meeting, described the building as an "up-ended fag packet" and suggested a better location would been on currently derelict land between the Princes Quay shopping centre and Castle Street.
But Councillor Sheila Waudby said: "We do have some beautiful old buildings in Hull but we also need to start looking at the future too.
"If you look at the site, it's fairly obvious nothing else is going to get built down there."
London-based Mr Fulstow, who hails from the city's Longhill estate, first won planning permission for a high-rise apartment block on the same site in 2008.
However, that project never got off the ground because the onset of the economic downturn.
He said: "I am conscious that we let a lot of people down last time. We raised a lot of hopes but the recession came along and, if I'm honest, it was probably the best thing."