July 24 2014 Latest news:
West Suffolk reporter
Monday, June 30, 2014
Work is forging ahead at the former Suffolk County Council offices in Bury St Edmunds, which are undergoing a multi-million-pound transformation into a Premier Inn hotel.
Barnes Construction, based in Ipswich, is carrying out the work at New Shire Hall in Raingate Street, which was granted planning permission in January for a 75-bedroom hotel.
David Harris, of scheme project manager M & D Developments, said Premier Inn had signed all of its legal agreements and realistically the hotel should be completed by the spring of 2015.
He said M & D Developments was investing millions of pounds into the project, adding Premier Inn would rent the building.
Mr Harris, whose daughter Emma Harris owns New Shire Hall, said locally people seemed to be very pleased Premier Inn was coming to the town.
He added: “I think the adjoining neighbours were concerned [about increased traffic], but I don’t think it can be any different to the amount of traffic that uses that car park at the moment. I hope it will be very successful for the town. It will bring people in and hopefully it won’t just be a weekend arrangement, but all week when the rooms are being used.”
Previously, Guy Kemsley, acquisition manager for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, which the Premier Inn brand falls under, said: “We have wanted to be in Bury St Edmunds for a long time so when we were given the chance to convert the Shire Hall into a new Premier Inn we took it.”
Mr Harris, of Hengrave Hall, said architect Lionel Thurlow and Barnes Construction were doing a “first-class job” at New Shire Hall, which is a short walk from the town centre.
There will be car parking for Premier Inn customers.
Premier Inn was contacted for a comment, but did not respond by the time the EADT went to print.