Leicester’s Grand hotel looks set to be restored to former glory

Leicester’s Grand hotel could be given a revamp based on historic images of the street to bring back its ‘lost character’.

The hotel on the corner of Granby Street and Belvoir Street looks set to be restored to its traditional appearance as part of Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones scheme.

Historic England is overseeing the £95 million, Government-funded project, which aims to ‘unlock the potential of high streets across England, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery’.

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Leicester City Council secured £1.5m from the pot in February last year, which it will spend improving historic buildings in the Granby Street and Church Gate conservation areas.

The aim for the Mercure-owned hotel include improvements to its entrance, with cleaning and repairs to the windows and balcony.

There are also hopes existing canopy above the entrance will also be able to be restored, with the modern coverings removed.

The company also wishes to reinstate the original sign that hung over the hotel, while rolling shutters could be replaced with wrought iron gates.

The shops along the ground floor of the hotel would also be transformed to tie in with the historic building, with modern signs being replaced and their entrances rebuilt with sustainable hardwood timber and toughened glass.

An artists impression of how the street could look
An artists impression of how the street could look
(Image: Leicester City Council)

Owner of TM Pro in Granby Street, Jaafar Jawad, said he was aware of the plans for the street when he signed the lease on his unit and he is ‘happy’ the work is to take place.

Deputy city mayor, Councillor Adam Clarke, is chairman of the local grants panel which allocating money for the High Street Heritage Action Zones scheme in Leicester.

He said it is ‘important’ to preserve buildings such as the Grand Hotel ‘for future generations to enjoy.

“The Grand Hotel has always been considered one of Leicester’s most prestigious hotels, but today the ground floor is spoilt by poorly designed shop fronts, cheap modern materials and oversized signage,” he added.

The plans will first have to be approved by the local grants panel and planning officers for Leicester City Council. If approved, work is expected to begin in summer 2022.

Louise Brennan, regional director for the Midlands at Historic England, said: “This is a welcome step forward in the revitalising of this wonderful area of Leicester.

“The Grand Hotel is a prestigious building, and we are looking forward to supporting the repair and refurbishment of its street-facing ground floor.

“Hopefully, this will encourage more people, both tourists and local residents, to step inside to see its fantastic interior and become part of this historic building’s future.”

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Leicestershire Live – Leicester News