Work starts on Hilton Hotel

THE big dig is under way in Bournemouth town centre, with work starting on a £60m scheme to build a five-star hotel at Terrace Mount.
The start of excavation work for two Hilton hotels marks a major milestone for the prime town centre site, which has been the subject of lengthy negotiations and planning wrangles for the past 10 years.
With planning permission and finance in place, builders have now started unearthing tonnes of rubble and the site looks more like a quarry than a town centre car park.
Town centre Cllr David Smith said: “It’s fantastic for Bournemouth that such a high-profile company wants to open in the town.
“It’s a crucial boost for the town at a time when investment is very hard to come by. This, along with the work being done by the Bournemouth Development Company, shows that we are open for business.
“We will be very proud to have the Hilton hotel brand in town. It will also create new jobs and hopefully kick start other developments in the town centre.”
The car park was originally sold off to developers to fund the refurbishment of the Winter Gardens concert hall.
Planning permission for more than 200 flats was secured but these plans were killed off by the economic slowdown.
The site changed hands and is now being developed by London-based THAT Group, which counts Ray Kelvin, the founder of the Ted Baker clothing company, amongst its backers.
THAT Group will build two Hilton Hotels and apartments on the site – an iconic five-star hotel topped with a sky bar and a three-star hotel.
Property director Peter Tisdale told councillors in the summer there would be traffic, noise and problems with such a major development but promised they would do everything they can to minimise the fuss.
Mr Tisdale said the start of the building work would be celebrated at a launch event on Monday. But ahead of this, he said: “After many months of preparation, we have been able to make our long-awaited start.
“Further we are delighted to confirm that McAleer and Rushe have been appointed as our main contractors and we look forward to working with them on this landmark scheme.”
Bournemouth Echo

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