Funding of £3.5m kick-starts plans for Manchester’s first zero carbon aparthotel

Room2 plans for the new hotel

Details of a ‘zero carbon’ boutique eco-aparthotel in the heart of Manchester have been revealed.

The city’s first fully-sustainable hotel tower will be delivered by Northside (Manchester) as part of a joint venture with hospitality company Room2, made possible by a £3.5m loan facility from Cheadle-based specialist lender, Together, to acquire the site.

The joint venture is now seeking planning permission for the 185-room ‘whole life, net zero carbon hometel’ in Piccadilly on a site that includes the Grade I-listed former Union Bank of Manchester, on the corner of Chatham Street.

Room2 previously opened the world’s first net zero ‘hometel’, in Chiswick, West London, which is 89% more energy efficient than a typical UK hotel.

Each room has its own kitchenette and has a host of sustainable measures, from solar panels to recycled furniture, zero food waste and a green roof with 75,000 bees and wildflowers.

Michael Devanny, corporate relationship director at Together, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as Northside’s finance partner.

“Our funding has allowed them to purchase this site, including the former Union Bank, with the whole area an ideal location for business travellers and holidaymakers visiting Manchester.

“It will allow Room2 to press ahead with planning the city’s – and region’s – only whole life net zero hotel, meaning all carbon emissions from conception through to the building’s end of life will be reduced and re-balanced to zero.”

He added: “We were impressed with Northside’s ambitious vision for this excellent scheme and Room2’s previous success in opening their Chiswick hometel, and we’re proud to help this new joint venture achieve their ambitions for the new Manchester project.”

Together was approached by Ice Cubed Property Finance, a York-based commercial adviser, to secure the finance on behalf of their client, Northside (Manchester). The short term commercial loan allowed Northside to buy the site.

Manchester City Council previously granted planning permission in 2019, for a 23 storey, 356-bedroom hotel on the site, but this consent has now lapsed. The new developers said a new planning application for the 185-room hotel would be submitted in the next few months.

Paul Ellis, one of four directors at Northside (Manchester), said: “We’re proud of the opportunity to bring forward the delivery of an iconic true carbon net zero tower alongside our partners Room2 with the continued trusted support of the Together team.”

Tom Frank, director of Ice Cubed, said: “This has been an exciting project to work on combining a client and lender to meet the aspirations of a new partner in the sustainable sector.

“We believe it’s important that the long term use of the asset has a sustainable proposition, so it’s great to see the lender, borrower, broker and operator both working together to the same sustainable goal.”