Plans for a new hotel development at Leeds Kirkgate Market are set to reach a significant milestone next week. In August, Leeds City Council submitted a planning application for the project on the George Street side of the Grade I listed market building. The application is now scheduled for consideration by the council’s city plans panel at a meeting on Thursday, November 30.

If the application receives approval, the expectation is that construction will commence next year on a project designed to complement existing regeneration initiatives in the surrounding area. Ahead of the meeting, the council has confirmed Premier Inn as the proposed operator for the hotel. A pre-let lease has been agreed upon with Premier Inn, a part of the Whitbread Group.

Typically, Premier Inn’s customer base is evenly split between business and leisure guests, maintaining year-round occupancy levels above 80 percent across its hotel network. The George Street hotel, occupying the top five floors of a new six-storey building, is planned to feature 143 rooms, along with a bar and restaurant for guests. The ground floor will house commercial units and a state-of-the-art council-run gym, enhancing the local fitness offerings for city centre residents and nearby communities.

Owned by the council, the site earmarked for the development currently comprises vacant low-rise shop units. The hotel is expected to create approximately 50 new full and part-time jobs once operational, with around 80 jobs being supported during the construction phase.

The council envisions the scheme as a stylish addition to a part of the city centre that includes landmarks such as the Victoria Gate retail destination, Leeds Playhouse, and Leeds City College’s Quarry Hill campus. Additionally, it is anticipated that the hotel will drive increased footfall to the market, which has already seen growth due to a multi-million pound investment program.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said; “We’re proud of the positive difference we have made at Leeds Kirkgate Market, where monthly visitor numbers hit the half-a-million mark earlier this year.

“We are determined to keep building on that success, with the plans for the George Street hotel underlining the scale of our ambitions for both the market and the continued regeneration of the surrounding area.

“The new development would provide a much-improved connection between the market and Victoria Gate, while also acting as an attractive linking point in the wider flow of the city centre from Vicar Lane towards the Eastgate roundabout and Quarry Hill.

“We are pleased to be working on this project with Premier Inn, which has a commitment to delivering quality and good value that mirrors our own approach as a council.”

Paul Smith, acquisitions manager for Whitbread, said; “From independent research we know that Premier Inn customers spend £140 per night per bedroom outside of our hotels when they stay in city centre locations like George Street in Leeds.

“This money excludes what our guests spend on their accommodation, with food and drink, entertainment and non-food shopping being the largest categories of spending.

“Importantly, most of this money is spent in the local area around our hotels as our guests go out and about to get a taste for where they are staying.

“Multiplying this figure across a high-occupancy 143-bedroom Premier Inn on George Street would generate a multi-million-pound boost to the local economy, helping to support the many established and independent businesses in the market and elsewhere across Leeds city centre.”

The project underwent initial consideration by the council’s city plans panel in June, followed by a period of community consultation. Feedback received during this process, including comments from the public, market traders, ward councillors, and stakeholders like Leeds Civic Trust, was predominantly positive.