Plans to redevelop the building as a hotel have been in place for over a decade. The current investment proposal is for 36-bedroom boutique hotel with a bar-restaurant; and four other commercial units to situated at ground floor level. The proposal received planning consent in 2019.
The building was extensively damaged by fire in 2017. The cost will be high to restore the building in a way that preserves the building as a heritage asset and is in keeping with the quality of restoration needed for a Grade II listed building. It is estimated that this cost will be more than the owner’s estimate of the commercial end-value of the hotel. This different between cost and value is know as the ‘conservation deficit’ and is often the reason that heritage buildings are not viable to restore and preserve.
The Town Deal investment will fund this conservation deficit to enable the project to proceed, while the owner will fund the majority of the costs.
Historic England, the public body that ensures our heritage environment is protected, have been consulted and recognise the importance of the project in helping to remove the Church Street Conservation Area from the national heritage at risk register.
The project will meet the identified demand for a high-end boutique style hotel which is required to serve the growing tourist and business communities as these sectors grow, whilst making the heart of Hartlepool town centre work better as a destination.
The Town Deal Board will ensure that the developer provides local procurement, employment and training opportunities that benefit the town as a whole.
Follow the link here to watch The Wesleys re-development