New hotel and restaurant set to open in Old Shire Hall


Old Shire Hall, the Grade II-listed property on Old Elvet, is set to be renovated over the next fifteen months and transformed into a Hotel Indigo after a £15 million agreement.

The building, originally con­structed in 1896 to house Durham County Council, was used as the administrative headquarters of Durham University until 2012.

Old Shire Hall will be renovated and converted into a four-star hotel, which will include a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill.

Shire Hall, which was bought by commercial property developer Kevin Brown in 2014, will be re­furbished by Mr Brown and local-based developer Shaun Crawley, alongside Maven Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm in the UK.

The plans for renovation in­clude the creation of 81 bed­rooms, but the building’s Victo­rian features, such as the marble staircases, stained glass windows, and wood panelling, are to be re­tained—along with the debating chamber, which will become a cocktail bar.

Mr Brown commented:

“From the outset it has been vital to find the right partners to produce an outstanding hotel for the city and equally as important to secure Shire Hall’s future and prevent any further deterioration and damage to the building.

“Durham enjoys strong demo­graphics in terms of local spend­ing power, with a key role played by Durham University, one of the best in the UK with an enviable in­ternational reputation.”

He continued to explain the ad­vantages of the hotel for Durham, stating:

“On completion, the new hotel should attract up to 21,000 new visitors to the city annually and guests will enjoy the fantastic views of Durham Castle and Ca­thedral in the heart of Durham’s historic city centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site.”

Ramsay Duff, an investment di­rector at Maven, said:

“We anticipate that the Hotel Indigo at the historic Shire Hall will not only become a ‘must visit’ destination, but also address the demand that exists in the city for more high-quality hotel accom­modation.”

The new Hotel Indigo will have the effect of creating around 60 jobs for the local area, and is scheduled to open in autumn 2017.


Photograph: Tom Bastin/ Creative Commons

One thought on “New hotel and restaurant set to open in Old Shire Hall

  • Old Shire Hall is a beautiful building set in the heart of Durham City where i live.
    I have often admired the outstanding architecture of this impressive hall when passing.

    As a carpenter myself i was interested when i got a call from the architects office who are developing
    this grade 2 building. I was asked to design and make some decorative cabinets to cover the air conditioning
    units in the key areas of the building.
    Initially i could not accept the contract as the timescale was too tight. Then i was told that i would have more time
    if i wanted the job.
    I was now interested in getting this job done. Putting pen to paper i sketched a few ideas and details that i thought
    would compliment this building. As my design and details got the green light i got to work.
    Several weeks later i delivered and fit the cabinets.
    I supplied them with twelve cabinets in the restaurant, bar, reception, function room and the gallery.
    It was good to have an input to the development of Shire Hall and to maintain the character of this amazing hall.


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