Bev King, former head of Thistle hotels, has signed a £14m deal for a new hotel in London's High Holborn.
King, who has teamed up with private Irish backers for the venture, plans to turn the Grade II-listed derelict building, previously the Baptist Society headquarters, into a five-star, 65-bedroom luxury hotel with spa.
Works are scheduled to start on the building in Southampton Row by the end of the year, with completion expected by the end of next year.
King said the deal marked the first development for the group, named Kingsgate London Properties, which hopes to have 12 to 15 hotels in Europe within the next five years.
"We'll get three up and running first and then extend the platform with similar quality properties in Europe," he said.
By Emily Manson
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