A plan that would’ve seen Manchester’s town hall transformed into a boutique hotel has been ruled out by council officials who deemed the scheme ‘unworkable’.
The Grade-I listed property will be given a landmark £330m refurbishment, but now its ambition to become a 65-bed boutique hotel will not come to fruition, as the space will instead be rented out as office space.
The latest phase of planning has seen various money-making ventures investigated by councillors, including the hotel proposal which would’ve seen the property create space for independent food and drink outlets by opening up its courtyard and basement.
However, the boutique hotel plan was deemed unfeasible, as it would result in an extra £30m being used for refurbishment with too much risk on the council.
Officials believe it is too difficult to predict levels of demand in five years’ time, when the refurbishment is due to be complete, and fear the council could be left without an operator if the market falters in that time.
Instead they have settled on using upper floors for office space, the demand for which they believe will remain stable.
The council first unveiled plans for a huge refurbishment last year, citing the town hall’s crumbling Victorian infrastructure – including leaking ceilings, faulty windows and an archaic and inefficient heating system.