Work starts on ho­tel

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

A CAR park that will make way for a con­tro­ver­sial new Hil­ton ho­tel in Stock­ton closed this week.

The Square car park, in Stock­ton town cen­tre, shut on Tues­day as prepa­ra­tions be­gin for work start­ing on the new Hamp­ton by Hil­ton Ho­tel.

Stock­ton Coun­cil will bor­row £17m to fund the six-storey ho­tel be­fore leas­ing it to the in­ter­na­tional chain group.

The plans have sparked con­tro­versy among res­i­dents and coun­cil­lors, with some deem­ing the ho­tel to be a “white ele­phant” – but oth­ers thought the loan would be a “rock solid busi­ness case”.

The au­thor­ity be­lieves the in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned ho­tel chain would be a huge as­set, bring­ing in £6.7m per year into the lo­cal econ­omy and cre­at­ing around 100 jobs for lo­cal peo­ple.

Pro­jec­tions fore­cast the coun­cil would re­ceive net op­er­at­ing prof­its of £1.2m per year, which it says would more than cover the es­ti­mated £830,000 per year re­quired to pay back the bor­row­ing over 35 years – with coun­cil leader Bob Cook say­ing “all ex­pert pro­jec­tions” show that the ho­tel would be more than 80% oc­cu­pied.

The Hamp­ton Hil­ton ho­tel will boast 125 beds and will form part of the town’s Northshore re­gen­er­a­tion scheme, built on Church Road on the for­mer dairy, Kwik Fit and The Square car park sites.

Be­fore con­struc­tion be­gins later this sum­mer, the neigh­bour­ing Kwik Fit build­ing will be de­mol­ished.

The site of the pro­posed Hil­ton on Stock­ton River­side.

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