Watergate Bay Hotel owners confirm £18m hotel deal
A deal has now been agreed for the business behind the Watergate Bay Hotel to develop an £18 million boutique hotel in Plymouth's Royal William Yard.
A lease agreement between the yard's developer, Urban Splash, and the Ashworth family, owners of the Watergate Bay Hotel has now been signed.
The hotel, which will have a focus on business and leisure, is due to open in 2015 in the Melville building.
Its design will be centered around its distinctive clock tower and courtyard, which overlooks the marina.
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Will Ashworth, Watergate Bay Hotel managing director, said: "When we first arrived at Royal William Yard and saw the potential of the Melville building, I immediately knew we could create
something really exciting."
Although the hotel is likely to have a different focus to the Cornish hotel, which has a strong emphasis on outdoor sports, it, too, will have a distinctive identity.
"We have a distinctive approach to hospitality and 'active relaxation' lies at the heart of what we do. Our north Cornwall hotel has its own special sense of style and tone, and our aim is to take this and develop it in a way that is right for Royal William Yard," added Mr Ashworth.
As well as 60 bedrooms, the plan is to create two restaurants, a cocktail bar, members club, 25m swimming-pool and an events space for leisure and business use.
Nathan Cornish, from Urban Splash, said: "This is a significant milestone in our redevelopment of Royal William Yard and we are very
pleased at entering into an agreement with Watergate Bay. It has long been our intention to bring a quality hotel operator to the yard
and this announcement is a big step in making this a reality.
"There is lots of hard work ahead before the scheme gets on site and we look forward to working with Watergate Bay through the planning and development process to further realise our vision of a thriving mixed use community."
Leader of Plymouth City Council, Councillor Tudor Evans, said: "Plymouth is a great place to invest and we welcome developments such as this which not only offer something new for the city, but will breathe life into a spectacular historic building. This fits in with our plans for growth, particularly in the tourism and visitor sector, where developments such as these will help the city broaden its accommodation range to include higher-end, quality hotels. This is great news, helping to spread the word about Plymouth Britain's Ocean City as a fantastic place to be."
The next step is to achieve planning permission and the coming months will include extensive liaison with architects, Gillespie Yunnie, Plymouth City Council and English Heritage.
It is hoped that building work will begin next spring.