GB Arena Hotel
Clare Burnett

GB Group unveils £32 million Leeds Arena Hotel

GB Group has secured public and private sector funding for a £32m hotel development at the heart of Leeds city centre, near the newly-opened flagship Leeds Arena.

GB Building Solutions will start work this month on the £21m building contract to create the 206-bedroom, 14-storey hotel, which will include a destination rooftop bar.

The site, directly next to Leeds Metropolitan University’s Rose Bowl conferencing facility, is just 300m from the 13,500 capacity Leeds Arena, which has already hosted the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Sir Elton John.

The GB Group worked closely with Leeds and Partners, the city’s inward investment organisation, to secure £4.8m funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in addition to private funding, to ensure the scheme’s go-ahead.

Brandon Riley, director of hotels at GB Group, said: “This project is a great example of how the public and private sector can work together in partnership to achieve a common goal. We are delighted to be in a position to move forward with our plans for this exciting new investment.

“The new Hilton Leeds Arena will provide a fantastic boost to the visitor economy in addition to driving regeneration and job creation.”

It is anticipated that up to 100 long-term jobs will be created when the hotel is up and running in 2016, with the potential to create hundreds of temporary jobs, primarily in the construction sector.

The GB Group will retain ownership of the hotel, which will be operated as a Hilton Hotels & Resorts property under a franchise agreement with Hilton Worldwide. Once open, it will be managed by hospitality specialist Redefine BDL.

Rob Palleschi, global head of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing another hotel to the city of Leeds. Our brand has strong ties with the entertainment industry and Conrad Hilton was himself no stranger to the spotlight, so we’re particularly excited to be locating so close to one of the UK’s hottest new venues.”

This is GB Group’s second new hotel development in partnership with Hilton Worldwide following the successful delivery of Hilton Garden Inn Luton North, in Luton, Bedfordshire.

GB Group Chairman and CEO Martin Smout said: “This is a key development for us, and marks an important milestone in our evolution from a developer contractor into a property owner investor.

“We are thrilled to have secured the go-ahead and funding to deliver this ambitious scheme at the heart of one of the UK’s most exciting cities, and look forward to working closely with our partners to build what will become the premier destination for business and leisure in Leeds.”

GB Group was advised by Jones Lang LaSalle Corporate Finance and CBRE Hotels in relation to the hotel brand and operator search and selection. Watson Farley & Williams were legal advisors to GB Group. Award winning architects Dexter Moren Associates designed the hotel.

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