Proposals have been unveiled to build a £5 million, high quality hotel on the site of Consett’s former steelworks. There are hopes that this development could create 70 jobs and lead to a well-known hotel chain establishing itself in the town.
The site is on Genesis Way, next door to the McDonalds. The proposed hotel would have 50 bedrooms, a function suite and conference facilities.
The site was home to Consett Steelworks until it closed in 1980 with the loss of 4,500 jobs. The closure of Consett Steelworks resulted in the town having an unemployment rate of 35%.
The plan for the hotel seems to have been put forward by the Genesis Project, which is a trust established to revive Consett’s former industrial area. It appears that the Genesis Project is working in conjunction with a private developer.
Durham County Councillor Alex Watson said, “It is a tremendous statement of confidence in the town.”
“It has already boosted the local economy because there is a lot of interest coming in from various quarters, the local business sector, mainly because there is a conference suite.”
If Durham County Council approve the plan, the building work on the hotel will be undertaken by Dysart Developments.
Councillor Owen Temple also welcomed the news, saying, “If we had more beds, people would use the town more.”
“There is quite a lot of tourist potential around and we are short of beds. If there is a visiting business or anything like that, there isn’t much available.”
“It will be good and every development helps what is a growing town.”
The public will be able to view the plans for the Genesis Way site at a drop-in session that will be held on Thursday 2nd February from 3.30 to 7.00 pm in the reception area of Derwentside College.
Though it is not yet known which hotel chain will occupy the completed development, Councillor Watson said, “It will be a good venue and will not be a budget hotel. It will be a reputable one.”
The Genesis Project says that it has already “facilitated £150 million worth of development (on the site) and created hundreds of jobs for local people.”
The Genesis Project has helped bring a Tesco Superstore and a Starbucks, as well as restaurants, offices and homes, to the former Consett Steelworks site.