The former Durham City Council headquarters are set to see a £15m transformation into a stylish hotel, complete with a Marco Pierre White restaurant.
Built in 1896, the building will be modernised and converted into a four-star Hotel Indigo, one of the brands owned by InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) . Together with 81 bedrooms and a new Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, upon completion, the hotel is predicted to create 60 new jobs.
The hotel with the new Bar and Grill could make a considerable contribution to Durham as a city with the possibility of bringing in an additional 21,000 visitors annually.
Chief executive of Black & White Hospitality - owner of the franchise rights to MPW Steakhouse Bar and Grill - Nick Taplin said: "Marco and I have been eager to find a suitable location in the city for some time."
The architectural team, from Howarth Litchfield, has focused on key areas that represent Durham as a city, which are the cathedral and the university. They are making use of the marble staircases, wood panelling and stained glass windows as well as transforming the debating chamber into a contemporary cocktail bar and restaurant.
The building that has been vacant for four years is set to have the hotel frontage cleaned up and new lighting installed. A new landscaping scheme using street furniture and trees will also be developed.
The revamped city council building is expected to take 15 months of refurbishing before the opening in September 2017.