The Cookie Jar, a boutique hotel owned by Debbie Cook, is to operate a new site in Alnwick after plans for the transformation of a former High School got the green light.
Northumberland Estates, the business arm of the Duke of Northumberland, has been given planning permission to convert the former Duchess High School on Bailiffgate into a new 47-bedroom hotel.
The owner of the historic building has appointed the team behind The Cookie Jar to operate the new venue once the £7.9m project is complete.
The work will see 2 to 8 Bailiffgate transformed into a hotel complete with restaurant, bar, fitness centre and meeting rooms, with an extension added on land to the back of the site to house a walled garden.
The proposal was first submitted in May 2020, with work now set to start in the spring.
Guy Munden, development planner at Northumberland Estates, said: “This is a great project for Alnwick, one which will bring tourists directly into the town centre and, at the same time, breathe new life into this historic site.
“The Bailiffgate buildings have been empty since the Duchess High School left for their new premises back in 2016. This project seeks to create the extra visitor accommodation the area has been shown to need as well as bringing new jobs to the town.
“With more visitors looking to come to Northumberland even in the winter months, the hotel should bring a welcome boost the town’s tourism trade.”
Debbie Cook opened The Cookie Jar in 2017. The boutique hotel was transformed from a Catholic Church into an 11-bedroom hotel and 26-cover bistro The Holy Cow and has received wide acclaim ever since.