Developer revives plans for a 100-bed hotel in Halifax

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PLANS have been revived for converting a former theatre and one of Halifax’s grandest buildings into a hotel.

Councillors gave permission in 2008 for the rear section of the former Theatre Royal, at Ward’s End, to be pulled down and a 103-bedroom hotel to built in its place.

It would also have incorporated a gym, restaurant and meeting rooms.

Wighton Jagger Shaw Associates, of Harrogate, has now applied to renew planning permission for the work, on behalf of Ms R. Poppat, of Harlow, Middlesex.

This summer a new Premier Inn, with 100-hotel rooms, is due to open as part of the Broad Street Plaza development.

When the Theatre Royal was built at Ward’s End in 1905 it could seat up to 2,000 people.

It was designed by local architects Richard Horsfall and Son, and cost £40,000.

The honour of presenting the first show at the new Royal fell to the Halifax Amateur Operatic Society, which performed Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Mikado.

In 1927 fire destroyed the rear of the building but the fire curtain protected the auditorium, which was untouched.

The theatre reopened in September with a production of The Student Prince.

It was converted into a cinema in 1937 and a bingo hall in the 1960s before closing in 1991.

In 1994, a London theatre trust drew up plans to turn the Theatre Royal into the UK’s first national museum of theatre technology, at a cost of £7 million but owners Rank failed to agree with the trust on the £250,000 purchase price.

The listed building became the La Mania nightclub in 1999 and later Club Platinum, Club HX and the Theatre Club. I has been empty for several years.