Construction company Stepnell has secured a contract to create high-end visitor accommodation in the heart of Leicester – opposite the Cathedral and only a stone’s throw from the historic site where Richard III’s remains were discovered.
Building work has just got under way on the £1.8 million project for the Diocese of Leicester. It will see two empty buildings in Peacock Lane and New Street converted into a stylish city centre building – St Martins Lodge – offering 28 elegant en-suite bedrooms.
The project will answer increasing demand for luxury overnight accommodation in Leicester where the landmark discovery of King Richard’s long-lost remains in 2012 has significantly boosted visitor numbers
The new accommodation will be situated in the Greyfriars conservation area, very close to the site of the former medieval friary church where the king’s body was found in 2012. It is only a short distance from the award-winning visitor centre which tells the story of Richard’s life, death and how his remains were uncovered.
Providing a unique place to stay at a prime location in the city centre, St Martins Lodge is expected to be completed in summer 2018. As well as being used by tourists and other visitors, it will also create accommodation available to people using the nearby St Martins House conference centre.
Leicestershire architectural practice Corporate Architecture created the sensitively designed scheme which involves the refurbishment and conversion of a Grade II listed former 18th century town house in New Street and a purpose-built neo-Georgian office block in Peacock Lane. The conversion includes a new penthouse extension to the Peacock Lane building as well as a link connecting the two buildings which were both previously used as offices.
The Chair of the Glebe Committee, which purchased the land, David Beeson, is delighted with the plans which will enhance the Cathedral Quarter: “We have been hoping to add local, high-class accommodation to the Glebe portfolio for some time now, and the ideal opportunity has been presented. There are significant synergies which tie the cultural, business and spiritual operations together and we can capitalise on both the King Richard lll tourism and users of the cathedral.”
“This project will deliver high-end accommodation in one of Leicester’s most historically significant settings, as well as bringing fresh life and a new use to these two buildings which have been lying empty,” says Stepnell regional director Thomas Sewell. “We are thrilled to be working in a location which plays such a prominent part in the story of both the city and the nation.”
Leading construction firm Stepnell brings to the scheme extensive experience of working with ancient and historic buildings, he adds: “Our team is delighted to be using their considerable expertise to help deliver this scheme which will create modern, luxury visitor accommodation while at the same time, fully honouring the heritage of this important site and its surroundings.” The construction programme will be carried out by Stepnell’s Nottingham team which is based at the Eldon Business Park, Chilwell.
Buried over 500 years ago, following his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the remains of King Richard III were discovered by archaeologists in 2012, underneath a Leicester City Council car park. The king was reinterred in Leicester Cathedral in 2015.