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Hotel operators circle Cambridge's historic Shire Hall

11 December 2018 by
Hotel operators circle Cambridge's historic Shire Hall

Several hotel operators are vying to acquire the historic Shire Hall in Cambridge after Cambridgeshire County Council put the building up for sale.

The imposing building, which was completed in 1933 and sits on a six-acre site near where William the Conqueror built a castle in 1067, is on the market through agent Strutt & Parker and BNP Paribas.

Now council documents have revealed that of the 181 enquiries it has received from interested parties, most have looked into turning the building into a hotel, although the potential operators have not been named.

Other possible uses include conversion into a retirement home or student accommodation.

The freehold site includes not just Shire Hall itself, which has been the administrative seat for the county council for more than 80 years but also a former police station, the Castle Lodge building, car parking and Castle Mound, a tourist attraction, public access to which will have to remain in place.

Viewings of the non-listed building will continue up until 19 December this year, before a round of second viewings on 7 and 11 January 2019. Interested parties will then have until 30 January to register their bid, before the successful bidder is informed in March 2019. The council hopes to exchange contracts by mid-2019.

Cambridgeshire County Council will move to a new purpose-built HQ in Alconbury, south of Peterborough in 2020 .

Explaining the decision to sell Shire Hall, Chris Malyon, deputy chief executive of the council said: "We no longer need a central administrative building the size of Shire Hall. Instead, we will operate from a smaller central hub while making better use of our assets."

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