New hotel planned for Birmingham's former Methodist Central Hall
Up to 100 jobs could be created if planners back a new scheme to turn Birmingham's Methodist Central Hall into a hotel.
Plans to conver the Grade II* Listed building, in Corporation Street, have just been submitted to Birmingham council.
The proposals, put together by hotel developer Ciel Capital, would see the iconic building restored and renovated to provide a 147-room hotel and 75-room hotel apartment units, plus space on the ground floor for food, beverage and shopping uses.
The plans went on show to the public at an exhibition at the hall in October and received widespread support.
The centrepiece of this restoration will be the conversion of building’s main central space into a ‘gastro-hall’ featuring restaurant and bar space showcasing the iconic hall.
Prior to Ciel Capital’s acquisition of the building, it was subject to several planning applications made by previous owners, which proposed uses such as apartments and offices. Under the new plans, public access to the hall will be opened up and the organ restored, affording a new opportunity to appreciate the building’s unique history and design features.
The Grade II* listed building was originally designed by Birmingham architects Ewan Harper and James A Harper and completed in 1907. In recent years the building has fallen into a state of disrepair, following several years of use as a nightclub, and currently lies empty.
It is listed on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register and is in need of substantial investment and restoration to secure a viable long-term future for the building.
The hotel will be operated by US brand Dream Hotels and will be the company's first hotel to open in Europe, whilst the apartment-hotel will be operated by Stow-Away, which specialises in affordable luxury apart-hotels.
Across all uses the development is expected to generate around 100 new jobs, as well as contributing towards an increase in footfall for local businesses and new food, beverage and retail destinations for local people.
Ciel is also working with local community groups, including the Birmingham music community and heritage groups, to explore ways to commemorate the building’s past uses, such as a music venue which played host to acts such as David Bowie and Pulp. This will ensure a rich part of the Central Hall’s history is preserved.
Vedrana Bilanovic Riley, CEO of Ciel Capital, said: “We are very excited to be submitting our plans for the former Methodist Central Hall. The project team has been working hard over the past few months to ensure that our plans deliver a sensitive restoration of the iconic building, all the while bringing the site back into life to provide new retail and leisure options for locals, plus employment and training opportunities.
"Our vision from the outset of this project was to deliver a sensitive restoration of the Hall which is respectful to its features, whilst guaranteeing the building’s future can be secured and can be enjoyed by the public.”
Birmingham's planning committee is expected to make a decision on the scheme early next year.