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Guild Tower hotel plan by Simon Rigby set for approval

Posted on - 4th December, 2016 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Redevelopment
The Villa Urban would be the name of the new hotel, in what is now the Guild Tower

The Villa Urban would be the name of the new hotel, in what is now the Guild Tower

One of Preston’s most distinctive tall buildings may give Simon Rigby his dream of opening a city centre hotel.

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The Guild Tower – part of the Guild Hall complex – was bought by the multi-millionaire earlier in 2016.

He now looks set to be granted to turn the building into an aparthotel with 105 bedrooms.

HMRC currently have offices within the building and its understood Mr Rigby is keen for them to stay.

He told Blog Preston: “Having HMRC stay would obviously be the preferred option.

“But I have to look at whether they don’t renew their lease and have a back-up plan ready.”

This back up plan would see the hotel open under the name Villa Urban and include a casino, spa and gym in the 15-storey building.

Plans for the building have been recommended for approval to Preston City Council’s planning committee.

Mr Rigby wants to revamp the entrance to the Guild Hall from Church Row, as part of major work which is taking place on the Western apron of Preston Bus Station.

The Guild Tower isn't exactly Preston's most attractive hi-rise building Pic: Tony Worrall

The Guild Tower isn’t exactly Preston’s most attractive hi-rise building Pic: Tony Worrall

Architects Frank Whittle Partnership proposals include re-cladding the building to make it more attractive – compared to its current beige presence o the Preston skyline.

Read more: How Simon Rigby faces uphill battle to land his casino dream

Planning officers state: “The principal of the proposed development is acceptable and would result in the addition of new, leisure focused, main town centre uses which would not only contribute to the revitalisation of the entertainment offer of the Guild Hall, but given the scale of the development proposed, the city centre generally.”

Councillors will meet on Thursday 8 December to consider the plans from 1.30pm at the Town Hall.

What do you think of the proposal? Do you work in the building? Let us know your views in the comments below

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