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First images of hotel development in former Dundee mill complex

A concept drawing of the hotels.
A concept drawing of the hotels.

The first images of how two new hotels being created in the former Baxter Brothers jute mills complex in Dundee have been released.

The former Bell and North Mills are being transformed into two modern hotels, which will be managed by leading hospitality company Focus Hotels Management.

Work on the multi-million pound conversion started earlier this year and is due to be completed in Spring 2018.

Around 90 jobs will be created between the two hotels.

The project, taking place in partnership with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and developers Percor Capital, will see the architectural legacy of the buildings faithfully restored, including one of the bell towers that was modelled on the beautiful Santa Maria della Salute in Venice.

The developers are working closely with Historic Scotland on the project.

The Staybridge suites before…

Hotel Indigo Dundee, comprising 102 guest rooms and the 85 guest room Staybridge Suites Dundee will both open next year and will form a key part of the Dundee waterfront regeneration programme.

… and after the redevelopment is concluded.

One of Dundee’s largest linen dynasties began when William Baxter, in partnership with his eldest son Edward, built his first spinning mill on the site’s Dens Burn in 1822.

The company expanded dramatically in terms of machinery and personnel to become one of the world’s largest linen manufacturers, employing as many as 5,000 people in the 1870s.

The complex being redeveloped.

Baxter Brothers and Co was incorporated as a private limited company in 1892 and in 1924 became part of the Low & Bonar group, for whom the firm continued trading as a manufacturing unit until the site closed in 1978.

The  project will also pay homage to the site’s rich history by naming one of the junior suites at the Hotel Indigo after a former staff social events organiser at Baxter Brothers and Co, Daisy Tasker.

The Lower Dens works buildings.

Daisy started working at the mill aged just 14 and played a special role at the company by organising a range of social activities and outings for the mill’s staff over many years.

The boutique Hotel Indigo will provide a mixture of standard and executive rooms and suites while many of the hotel’s public areas will highlight the site’s former use as a  jute mill.

A games section will be available for guests to enjoy along with a cosy meeting area called “The Den”, a fully-equipped gym, a bar and restaurant.

Staybridge Suites will cater for extended-stay guests, offering a range of serviced studios and one-bedroom apartments with full kitchens  as well as large desks and  Wi-Fi coverage.

There will also be a breakfast area, a small retail complex, a spacious lounge, a laundry room and a meeting area.

Peter Cashman, chief executive  of Focus Hotels Management Ltd, said: “This exciting refurbishment project will bring much-needed investment into the east end of Dundee’s city centre, and we look forward to welcoming guests from all over the UK and Europe in 2018.

“Both hotels are in an excellent location and the high-quality design, facilities and standards set to be achieved will ensure that our guests have a memorable and comfortable stay.”

Andrew Shaw, associate director of IHG, said: “The UK is our biggest market within Europe, with 320 hotels and a further 30 in the pipeline.

“It is great to be working again with our partners Focus Hotels Management as we continue to expand our portfolio of brands to offer guests the right brand in the right place in the country.”

Rob Corlett, director of Percor Capital, added: “We started this process in November 2013 and it is extremely pleasing to see it now come to fruition.

“Our aim throughout, has been to ensure that the entire site became fully used for the first time in nearly 40 years whilst maintaining the historic internal and external features of the Mill.”

Focus Hotels Management is a leading independent hospitality company with a UK portfolio of 16 hotels, with more than 1,500 bedrooms.


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