A multi million pound redevelopment project of the Belgrave Gate area has been proposed, which would house a new hotel complex and revamp the existing Haymarket car park.
Leicester City Council hopes the regeneration will bring a significant annual income for the Council.
It wants to invest £10million in a scheme that would allow it to secure a 125-year lease on Haymarket House – the vacant building above the Haymarket Shopping Centre – so that it can be redeveloped as a 67-bed Travelodge hotel.
The scheme would also see improvements being made to the Haymarket car park and pay for two new lifts that would serve the new hotel, the car park and the recently-refurbished Haymarket Theatre.
Leicester City Council believe the increased revenue from the revamped car park, along the with rent payments for the hotel, would help boost the council’s revenue budget by more than £200,000 a year – rising to an estimated £280,000 after 10 years.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This is a high profile part of our city centre and it is vital that we continue to invest in it.”
“As government cuts continue to reduce our annual income, we have to find new ways of bringing in the money we need to run vital services.”
“Investing in the hotel building and improving our car park will bring us a better return on our money than could be obtained from the banks – and it will also help boost Leicester’s economy by attracting more visitors and encouraging further investment in the city centre.”
If the project is given the go ahead, work to refurbish Haymarket House would be carried out by the building’s owners, before the council would buy the lease and let the building to Travelodge.
The hotel proposal would be made viable by the council carrying out major works to completely refurbish the Haymarket car park.
The 485-space car park would benefit from new surfacing, better lighting, number plate recognition ticketing and CCTV to bring it in line with other high-quality car parks in the city.
The redevelopment would see new lifts being installed, giving access from Belgrave Gate to the car park, the hotel, and the Haymarket Theatre – and ensuring full access for people with disabilities.
Funding for the Haymarket House proposals includes investing £8.4million from funds set aside to repay the council’s long-term debt, with existing capital and revenue resources making up the balance of the £10million scheme.