WORK is set to get underway this summer on a £50m luxury hotel in Southampton, bringing 1,300 jobs to the city.
The Daily Echo can reveal that work on the super-yacht inspired Southampton Harbour Hotel, which could become the city’s first five-star establishment for five years, will begin this July.
And the firm behind the plans says that 300 jobs will be created at the hotel while more than 1,000 other positions could be created as a result of the new complex.
The Nicolas James Group, which owns a string of hotels across the south coast, and MDL Marina saw their plans for the site at Ocean Village approved by the city council in 2012.
Their vision for the site is centred on a 76-flat hotel that will extend out into the marina and feature a spa and a rooftop restaurant and champagne bar with stunning views over Southampton Water. It will also feature 12 luxury duplex flats on top of the hotel.
Five-star status They will bid to get prestigious five-star status for the hotel, meaning it would be the first city hotel to have the top ranking since the then-called De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel was downgraded to four stars in 2009.
One of Hampshire’s top chefs, Alex Aitken, is already in line to take the helm at the new restaurant.
The site will also boast an apartment building boasting 82 flats in three towers up to ten storeys in height, and 1,139sq metres of commercial floor space which could be used for new restaurants and shops, as well as a basement car park.
Nicolas James Group says work on the site will begin in July, with the hotel due for completion within 18 months and the flats within the next two years.
The firm says that the two-year delay between planning permission being granted in 2012 and work starting this year is down to improving the layout of the buildings.
The hotel itself will directly employ 300 people, but the company says more than 1,000 jobs will be indirectly created as a result.
They include roles such as landscaping, entertainment, wedding suppliers, window cleaners and suppliers.
And with hundreds more jobs being created during construction, it is possible the complex could lead to more than 1,500 new jobs overall.
Group chairman Nicolas Roach said: “South-ampton lacks a five-star hotel product.
“We intend to bring a luxury waterfront hotel and spa to the city along with roof top restaurant concept.”
Civic chiefs and business leaders in the city have welcomed the start of work and the jobs boost to the city.
City council leader Simon Letts said: “This is really good news as we need a high end offer to attract the big spenders to Southampton, and many of the new jobs will be high quality posts at the hotel and other elements of the development.”
And Stewart Dunn, chief executive of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is welcome news not only because of the creation of hundreds of jobs, which is vital in boosting the economy, but also because it will give the city the first five-star hotel we have had for some time to cater for the increasing cruise passengers and visitors to the city.”