Plans have been submitted to transform a 17th century grade II listed mansion near Ripon into a £25m country house hotel and spa.
The proposals would see Grantley Hall, which is set in 30 acres of wooded parkland and grounds, converted into a 52-bedroom five-star hotel, which would aim to be one of the leading country house hotels in the UK.
The development would retain and showcase its many Georgian features and would include a signature restaurant, a bistro and a cocktail bar set in “exquisite” formal gardens. It would also be marketed as a wedding venue.
The stately home, which runs alongside the River Skell, was bought by Grantley Hall Ltd in 2015.
The new company, set up specifically to operate the hotel, is owned by Valeria Sykes, who is well known locally for her involvement in conservation and restoration projects such as Studley Royal House and the Duck House Conservation Estate. Valeria also serves as patron to New Light, an organisation that supports and celebrates northern artists.
She said: “Since my divorce from Paul Sykes in 2012, I have embarked on a number of very exciting restoration projects. With Grantley Hall we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to create something in the north of England befitting of an international stage and I look forward to creating a venue that Yorkshire can be proud of.”
As part of the restoration, the company has pledged its commitment to working with as many local suppliers and contractors as possible, estimating a creation of 200 jobs for the project itself and around 150 jobs once the hotel and spa opens. On-site staff accommodation, which would be based in a converted stable block, has been designed to attract a talented workforce to the area, as well as providing potential employment opportunities to local residents.
A planning report, which has been submitted to Harrogate Borough Council, says: “The proposed development is a unique opportunity to both improve tourist accommodation in the district and restore an important listed building.
“The investors are prepared to commit a significant amount of money to the project and it is hoped the proposal will be supported.”
The ambitious plans would also see Grantley Hall’s 1910 Japanese garden restored so that it is “likely to become one of the most important of its type in the country”.
Grantley Hall was built as a private residence for the Grantley family.
The impressive property reached the size it is today following extension projects in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The house has enjoyed a colourful history which saw it used as a convalescent home during the Second World War. After that, Grantley Hall was purchased by West Riding County Council and was used between 1947 and 1974 as an adult education residential college.
Remaining in local authority ownership the property was then owned by North Yorkshire County Council which ran it as a training and conference centre.
Going full circle, Grantley Hall was transformed back into a private residence after being bought in 2006.
Four years later it was sold again, with the intention of creating a hotel and spa. Planning permission was granted, however business ventures in Scotland and the USA meant the owner could no longer see the project through and the mansion went back on the market in 2013.
The latest purchase price was not disclosed but the property was placed on the market two years ago with a price tag of £6m.
Grantley Hall sits on an artificial island created by the canalisation of the River Skell.