Transformation of the Robin Hood Hotel
In March 2021, work to transform the former Robin Hood Hotel in Newark was complete, thanks to the relentless commitment of Newark and Sherwood District Council.
After standing derelict for more than 18 years, the District Council, in a joint venture with the land owner MF Strawson Ltd, intervened through a commitment that would transform the building into a thriving hotel once again. This was no easy feat and it has taken the District Council many years in discussions, negotiations and planning applications to get to the position reached today.
Using its money reserves, Newark and Sherwood District Council committed £3.3 million, (being 50% of the total development costs), to complete the development, knowing that on completion, the hotel and the commercial space would be sold to an investor and the capital would be returned in full to the authority. Structuring the finances for the project in this manner has meant that this landmark site has been returned to suitable use without any cost to the local taxpayer.
After more than a year of construction work, the site is now complete. This milestone marks the start of a major boost to Newark’s local economy, increasing visitor numbers to the district, increasing town centre footfall and helping redress the shortage of hotel accommodation in the Newark area as well as creating a number of jobs for local people.
The Travelodge hotel chain has taken the lease for the 66-bedroom hotel while 900 square metres of ground floor units, suitable for a variety of uses, are being marketed for commercial tenants.
Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said:
“From the very offset we have been committed to re-opening the infamous Robin Hood Hotel doors to weary travellers. If we had not intervened in this iconic building’s development, we would not be where we are today. I am absolutely delighted to see the work on such a significant building in Newark now complete, at absolutely no cost to the taxpayer. I know residents are just as keen as I am to see an end to what was a long-standing blight on the town and I am thrilled to see the site restored and come back into use after so many years.
“I extend my thanks to the directors of RHH Newark Limited and the building contractors, Lindum, for forging ahead and making such fantastic progress despite nearly a year of national restrictions. To deliver a redevelopment such as this throughout the pandemic is a huge credit to all involved. I am delighted to welcome Travelodge to the town, which, alongside the new commercial units, will bring new jobs and business to the town and district, as well as helping to support and grow the visitor economy.”
Sanjiv Kohli, Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “It has been a pleasure working with Niel Strawson, Tim Bradford of Banks Long and Co and Kevin Damarell of Lindum in bringing forward this iconic scheme. This development is a major element of the Council's town centre interventions and developments. We want to create further confidence in the town, increase and improve its profile to act as a catalyst for further investment in facilities, services and new developments for the local community.”
Niel Strawson, Director of MF Strawson Ltd, said: “I am delighted, in conjunction with the Council, to finally finish the Potterdyke development. It has been 18 years of hard work and I think the end result not only looks good, but will also be a great asset in the re-vitalising of the town centre.”
A spokesperson for Travelodge said: "We are delighted to be opening our 569th Travelodge in Newark which is our first hotel in the town and our ninth property in Nottinghamshire. With room rates starting from £29, Newark-on-Trent Travelodge will be a strong magnet for the local economy helping to attract new business and leisure visitors to the area when lockdown restrictions ease."