Work to transform the derelict former Robin Hood Hotel in Newark into a new hotel will start in the next few weeks.
Scaffolding will be erected on the front façade of the existing building in the first of two phases to create a new Travelodge which is expected to be completed for the summer of 2020.
Work will initially concentrate on the conservation of the Grade II listed structures and, from January next year, will continue to create a new 66-bedroom hotel.
There will also be three commercial units, possibly including a gym, café and restaurant, built on the site which will complement the hotel.
The £6.6million development is led by a joint venture company RHH Newark Ltd which was set up by Newark and Sherwood District Council in partnership with the current owner of the existing buildings MF Strawson Ltd. Both are making a capital contribution of £3.3million each of which two-thirds will be returned to each on completion, when the Travelodge element of the development is sold onto investors.
Each will retain a share of the leisure units with each party having the option to buy, or sell, the long leasehold interest in the units. In each scenario for the council, it is projected to either receive a full return on its capital investment or receive a revenue return of six per cent in rental income.
The scheme will be a major boost for jobs, the local economy, visitor numbers to the district, town centre footfall and help redress the shortage of hotel accommodation in the Newark area.
The proposals will generate up to 70 new jobs and further enhance Newark and Sherwood as a significant tourism designation in its own right, particularly in relation to Sherwood Forest, Newark Castle and the National Civil War Centre.
The three commercial units will also increase the employment and commercial offer of the town and the construction phase will provide a boost for the local economy. Twenty-four hour car parking will be provided nearby for hotel guests.
Council leader Councillor David Lloyd said: “I very much welcome the fact that this development will very soon get under way. The buildings have been left derelict for too long and the district council’s intervention has been vital in ensuring that the development of this site now takes place. I look forward to seeing the old façade being restored and valuable new accommodation being made available for our increasingly important visitor economy.”