The former Park Hotel which overlooks Miller Park in Preston could become a hotel once again.
A deal has been approved between Lancashire County Pension Fund and Lancashire County Council, subject to conditions, to transfer the building to the pension fund, which will finance a redevelopment of the site.
The scheme could create a hotel in the historic building on East Cliff, as well as offices for the pension fund itself, and a spa facility. The plans include the demolition of the 1960s office block on the site, replacing it with a new building, which will extend the hotel, providing conference and office facilities.
Discussions have been taking place with a preferred hotel operator about running the new hotel. Ownership of the site would remain with the pension fund. The former Park Hotel building will form the centrepiece of the new development. A replacement park bridge is also planned and new links to the train station.
The building, which opened in 1883, was formerly a hotel for rail passengers.
A planning application will be submitted shortly to Preston City Council.
The East Cliff site is currently owned and used by Lancashire County Council, but will become surplus to requirements as the council reduces the number of buildings it owns, as part of delivering its savings programme.
Cllr Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “This is fantastic news as it represents a major investment in the city centre. It’s another development that, together with the huge amount of activity and investment surrounding the City Deal, tells potential investors that this area is on the up and looking to the future.”
County councillor Kevin Ellard, chairman of Lancashire County Pension Fund, said: “I’m delighted that our Pension Fund’s property managers have been able to secure this excellent development, which will bring this iconic part of the Preston landscape back to its original use. Not only will this renaissance of the Victorian-era Park Hotel enhance this part of the city, it will also boost the leisure and commercial offer to residents and visitors alike.”