The group has agreed terms with Sunderland City Council’s development company to purchase an unused site for a three-storey venue in Seaburn, with plans expected to go to Sunderland’s planning committee shortly.
The Inn Collection Group’s managing director Sean Donkin said: “We are delighted to have secured a prime seafront site in Sunderland at an exciting time for the city as it gears up its coastal regeneration plans.
“Seaside towns and cities are riding high on the renaissance tide across the UK. There is real opportunity and optimism here in Sunderland to create a seaside destination of choice, both for residents and tourists and we look forward to being a part of the journey.
“Sunderland has seen a rise in overnight stays in the last year. These figures are expected to grow further following the Brexit vote and with more people opting for ‘staycation’ breaks as a result of the weak pound
“Alongside leisure-focused mixed-use facilities like the new STACK complex, our Seaburn development will be a major asset, boosting the area’s economic and tourism capacity by providing much-needed accommodation alongside a quality food and drink offering and increasing employment opportunities in the locality.”
The proposed development accompanies new strategic direction from The Inn Collection Group to develop a completely freehold estate as it continues to roll out ‘buy and build’ growth plans, to more than double its ten-strong portfolio of pubs with rooms by 2022.
The Alchemy-backed group will continue to seek out new development opportunities in the Lake District and Yorkshire as well as within its north east England heartland.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said the interest shown by The Inn Collection Group was another vote of confidence in the council’s vision to create a vibrant leisure-led development at the city’s seaside.
He said: “Seaburn is the jewel in Sunderland’s crown, and a place that both residents and visitors can enjoy. We want to enhance its natural charm and ensure it becomes a destination-seaside – the STACK proposals were a huge step forward, and add to that the renovation work that will be going ahead to our stunning old buildings on Seaburn promenade, and you can see that we are really beginning to deliver a transformational programme for the area. And we will not rest on our laurels to ensure we attract further investment that helps create a really special place.
“This additional accommodation will complement the Grand Hotel and Roker Hotel, and will contribute to the vibrant seafront location we know Seaburn can be. We are delighted that The Inn Collection Group recognises the vast potential of the area.”
The Inn Collection Group has a proven track record in delivering purpose-built inns, operating on a model that provides value-for-money accommodation, quality beverages and home-made pub fare served all day, 365 days a year.
Its most recent new-build developments include The Commissioners Quay Inn, in Blyth and The Amble Inn in Amble, a £4m development which opened in January.
If given the green light, the multi-million-pound unit will play a central role in the seaside resort’s ongoing transformation, with construction work expected to start by the end of the year and the building open for business by December 2020.
Earlier this month, Sunderland’s seaside received a £820k cash boost, with proposals to regenerate under-used and historic buildings along the Seaburn and Roker promenade given the green light by the council. Plans will see a former toilet block at Roker, along with the former Bay Shelter and the old tram shelter at Seaburn, transformed into cafés and restaurants, and plans are also afoot for 12 beach huts, that will stand just north of Fat Buddha. There will also be upgrades to the infrastructure of Seaburn Camp to make it better for touring caravans.
The work is part of a £1.5bn city-wide investment programme, that will see the seaside, city centre and residential areas of Sunderland transformed through council-driven development projects.