Great John Street Hotel set for refurb

Plans have been drawn up to refurbish Manchester’s so-called first boutique hotel, the grade two-listed building on the corner of Atherton Street and Great John Street in Castlefield.

The plans, submitted by e-commerce firm The Hut Group, which bought the property as part of its purchase of operator Eclectic Hotel Group last May, includes a single-storey glass extension, reconfiguration of the rooftop bar and bedroom upgrades.

The Great John Street Hotel opened in 2005, after the building had previously operated as the Atherton Street County School and later as part of the Granada Studios TV complex.

The Hut Group acquired another Manchester hotel as part of its acquisition of Eclectic – the King Street Townhouse – while Eclectic’s founders Eamonn and Sally O’Loughlin continue to own and manage the Didsbury House Hotel and Eleven Didsbury Park, which were divested from the group before the sale completed.

The proposed refurbishment, drawn up by consultancy Euan Kellie Property Solutions with EPR Architects as the architect and interior designer, includes an external glass lift shaft and a single-storey glass extension on the Little John Street side of the hotel.

There are also plans to upgrade the hotel bedroom, fully refurbish the ground floor area and remove sections of the mezzanine balcony floor to create a double-height space across the ground floor of the hotel.

The proposed glass extension would create a covered bar at ground floor level, replacing existing external space that is currently used an expansion to the lounge area but can only be used at certain times of the year at present.

St John Street Hotel

The scheme features an external glass lift shaft and extension Credit: EPR Architects

The planning application, which has been submitted to Manchester City Council, states: “While the hotel was recognised as Manchester’s first boutique hotel when the Great John Street Hotel began operating in 2005, the hotel is in need of a comprehensive refurbishment to bring the offer up to the quality and standard expected for a luxury boutique hotel in Manchester in 2020 and beyond.”

The estimated cost of the project was not disclosed, and The Hut Group and Euan Kellie Property Solutions both declined to provide further comment on the scheme until plans are further progressed.

The site lies within the Castlefield Conservation Area. The grade two-listed building was constructed in 1910.

The project team also includes Gardiner & Theobald as project manager, quantity surveyor and principal designer, Heritage Architecture as heritage consultant, WSP as services and structural engineer, as well as fire and acoustics consultant, Studio 29 as lighting consultant and Assent as building control.


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