Approval for 143-bed Premier Inn hotel next to historic markets

Plans for a new hotel and gym next to Kirkgate Market in Leeds have won consent.

Leeds City Council lodged a planning application in August for the scheme on the George Street side of the Grade I listed market building.

The application gained unanimous support at a meeting of the council’s city plans panel.

It means construction should start next year on the scheme, with the council having already agreed a pre-let lease with hotel operator Premier Inn. The development will include a council-run public gym.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “The plans panel’s support for the George Street scheme represents another important milestone in the regeneration of the area around Leeds Kirkgate Market and beyond.

“Leeds city centre is already a vibrant, attractive place to visit, but we want to make it even better – and the new hotel will help us achieve that aim, providing a stylish linking point between Vicar Lane, the Eastgate roundabout and Quarry Hill.

“The scheme also underlines our commitment to ensuring the market retains its position as one of the jewels in the city’s retail crown.”

Paul Smith, acquisitions manager for Premier Inn owner Whitbread, said: “We are extremely proud to have been named as the operator of the George Street hotel.

“The location ticks so many boxes for Premier Inn customers and I know our guests will give a lot back to the area once we are open.

“We will continue to work with the council’s team to construct the new hotel and deliver another superb location for our guests in the city centre.”

The site earmarked for the six-storey development is owned by the council and is currently occupied by vacant low-rise shop units.

The hotel will fill the top five floors of the new building, with 143 rooms as well as a bar and restaurant for guests.

On the ground floor there will be commercial units and the gym.

The hotel will create about 50 new full and part-time jobs once operational, with around 80 jobs being supported during construction.