Work to transform the derelict former Robin Hood Hotel in Newark into a new hotel will start this summer, Newark and Sherwood District Council announced today.
A total investment of £6.6million will ensure the historic building façade, which fronts Lombard Street, will remain with the Travelodge hotel chain taking the lease for the 66-bedroom hotel which is expected to be completed for the summer of 2021.
The development will be a major boost for jobs, the local economy, visitor numbers to the district, town centre footfall and help redress the shortage of hotel accommodation in the Newark area.
There will also be three leisure units, possibly a gym, café and restaurant, built on the site which will complement the hotel.
The council has made a decision to grant planning permission for the detailed designs, paving the way for a possible start on the project this summer.
The proposals will generate up to 70 new jobs and further enhance Newark and Sherwood as a significant tourism designation in its own right, particularly in relation to Sherwood Forest, Newark Castle and the National Civil War Centre.
The three commercial units will also increase the employment and commercial offer of the town and the construction phase will provide a boost for the local economy. Twenty-four hour car parking will be provided nearby for hotel guests.
The council, in partnership with the current owner of the existing buildings MF Strawson Ltd, has set up a joint venture company, RHH Newark Ltd, specifically to ensure that the development is delivered.
Both parties will make a capital contribution of £3.3million each of which two-thirds will be returned to each on completion, when the Travelodge element of the development is sold onto investors.
Each will retain a share of the leisure units with each party having the option to buy, or sell, the long leasehold interest in the units. In each scenario for the council, it is projected to either receive a full return on its capital investment or receive a revenue return of six per cent in rental income.
Council leader Councillor David Lloyd said: “This is a prudent and important investment, not just in the development itself, but in the future of Newark town centre.
“Through this investment we will be helping to provide the overnight accommodation to boost the local economy, support our local businesses and our growing tourism offer, as well as providing employment for local people.
“The buildings have been left derelict for too long and the district council’s intervention is vital to ensure that the development of this site now takes place. The Council has therefore structured a low risk Joint venture in which the council is a 50:50 partner, ensuring a vital stake in the development.
“We have listened to what people have had to say and have stepped in to deliver this development otherwise it would just not be happening.”
Niel Strawson, Director of M F Strawson Limited, said: “We are delighted that by working in partnership with Newark and Sherwood District Council, the restoration and construction works to build the 66-bedroom Travelodge Hotel should commence in summer this year.
“This is a very sensitive development and the programming has had to fit in with the highway works which are occurring around Newark at the present time. We strongly believe that once this development is completed, it will bring much needed regeneration and quality hotel bedrooms to the centre of Newark.”