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Admiralty Arch to be converted into hotel

31 | 10 | 12

An iconic London landmark, Admiralty Arch, has been leased to Prime Investors Capital (PIC) with the intention of converting it into a luxury hotel as the government attempts to cut costs in the current economic climate.

Although an operator has not yet been found for the site, which was commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother and designed by Sir Aston Webb in 1910, it is likely to be fitted out with commercial catering equipment and other necessities in order to turn it into a hospitality venue.

PIC has assembled a team with a great deal of experience in working with historic properties, and expressed its hope that they will be able to carry out a sensitive and stylish renovation that maintains most features of the original building.

The organisation has worked closely with English Heritage and Westminster City Council as part of the tendering process, examining Webb's original plans in order to restore many of the site's original properties.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: "At present Admiralty Arch is not being used and is costing £900,000 a year to run. Rather than letting it fall into disrepair we are taking action."

He stressed that the ultimate control of the Grade One-listed property remains in the hands of the government and thus the taxpayer, ensuring that the public will continue to have a say in what happens to the iconic landmark.

Admiralty Arch originally housed offices for various sea lords and admiralty chiefs but is currently disused and has never been open to the public.

Head of development management for English Heritage Nigel Barker declared: "The proposed conversion to hotel use would allow a degree of public access to the fine interiors, as well as ensuring the conservation of the building to a high standard."

There are already a number of London hotels based in listed buildings, including the classic neo-Georgian Bloomsbury Hotel.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801479463-ADNFCR

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