Entrepreneur Simon Pollard has bought 42 The Calls out of administration and plans a multimillion-pound investment into the hotel.
Pollard, a Leeds local, is also chief executive of telecoms company Intouch Advance, prosthetics company Objectiv-X and 22 Street Lane Nursery.
42 The Calls – a former Catey Award Hotel of the Year – entered administration in February. The 41-bedroom hotel was created by Jonathan Wix, who was also behind the 69-bedroom, five-AA-star Scotsman hotel in Edinburgh.
He bought the former mill building for £775,000 in 1989 and, some two years and £2.8m later, transformed it into the 42 The Calls. When it won the 1995 Hotel of the Year Catey, one judge said the hotel “put Leeds on the map” and should be used as “a role model for city-centre hotels of the future”.
Pollard plans to refurbish the hotel with high-end contemporary suites while respecting the property’s architectural heritage as an 18th century corn mill, and will create a Champagne bar and riverside dining.
42 The Calls will remain fully operational during the refurbishment and any bookings made prior to new management will be honoured.
Simon commented: “I am of firm belief that I have the ability to reset the vision whilst reigniting the fundamental, core values of 42 The Calls hotel. This comes from having the right capability and balance of ambition to help rescue what has been a diminishing local brand in desperate need of significant investment for some years.
“Embracing the 18th century converted corn mill’s unique setting, provenance and potential, we will promote 42 The Calls hotel into a luxury experience for the people of Leeds to treasure and enjoy.”
Wix sold both 42 The Calls and the Scotsman in 1999 to Charles Vere Nicoll, who together with Wix established the Scotsman Hotel Group (SHG). Vere Nicoll was appointed chairman and Wix became a director of the company. In 2006, the group was sold to MBI International.
The company was put into administration in 2011, but JJW Group, part of MBI International, regained control two months later. In 2016, the Scotsman hotel went into liquidation following trading difficulties and was sold to the G1 Group.
Further plans for the hotel are yet to be unveiled.