Next phase of conservation works begin on landmark hotel building

The latest stage of a major heritage and conservation project at Huddersfield’s George Hotel has now started.

It will deliver external works to restore and preserve the prominent empty property, with particular attention being paid to the building’s masonry, windows and roofing.

Conservation work is being led by William Birch & Sons Ltd, specialist contractors based in York and the scheme is being funded by Kirklees Council. Support has been provided by The Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zones and West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Getting Building Fund.

Councillor Shabir Pandor, leader of the council, said: “The George Hotel has been sat derelict for far too long. It is a vital part of Huddersfield’s heritage and that is why the council purchased it.

“We can make sure it opens its doors again and, crucially, in the right way so it stays open for good.

“The George Hotel is of high historical value. I have great confidence that our project will bring this iconic building back to life – while celebrating and conserving the heritage that makes it so special.

“The building is expected to be open in summer 2024 when it will again take its rightful place in the heart of Huddersfield.”

Kirklees Council says it is exploring the possibility of attracting a quality hotel operator and working with market specialists, Queensberry.

It explains that to turn the George Hotel into an attractive prospect, a “reconfiguration” of its interior and an extension may be the best way forward.

A council spokesman added: “Early feedback from the market suggests there is a good deal of interest in working with us to develop a branded 90-plus room hotel with a complementary, quality food and drink offer.

“Early concept drawings have been completed to guide our plans. A marketing brochure demonstrates the potential of Huddersfield as a destination. It also demonstrates the potential of the George Hotel to become a landmark hotel in the area.

“Competitive tendering will take place. Cabinet will then review prospective operator options in August 2022.”