Faithful+Gould to project manage transformation of iconic Leeds Methodist Church into ethical hotel

Faithful+Gould, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, is working with the Methodist Church in Leeds on the £15m conversion of its historic Oxford Place building into an ethical and environmentally responsible hotel.

Faithful+Gould is acting as the project manager and principal designer on the scheme and has helped the Methodist Church assemble a leading team, including HLM Architects (interiors), PBA (architects), RP&P (quantity surveyors), Mason Clark (structural engineers) and Ramboll (M&E consultants), to make their ambitious transformation of the church a reality.

Peter Kemp, Associate Director at Faithful+Gould in Leeds, said: “This redevelopment is a flagship project not only for the Methodist Church but for the city itself. With its iconic design and location next to the town hall, the work needs to be managed carefully and with great care to the intentions of the client and the aesthetic of the city. We’ve assembled a team with the right expertise to deliver this project and help guide the Methodist Church through the development process, including the governance and structure for excellent project delivery.”

The Grade II listed building on Oxford Place in Leeds will be transformed into a 70-bed, 4-star hotel, restaurant and meeting venue named The Wesley. As a listed building, the exterior will be largely unchanged but aspects of the garden frontage on to Westgate will be significantly altered. The city centre location means the design has been constrained by a tight site, with only a small amount of external space to work with.

David Quick from the Methodist Church said: “The conversion of The Wesley represents a new departure in hotel management in Yorkshire and embodies a high standard of sustainable operation. We selected Faithful+Gould to help us manage this high-profile project as we were impressed with the quality of their offering and the vast experience of their team in the hotel and hospitality market.”

Patrick Arends, HLM Architect’s Sector Lead for Hospitality, said; “Working with the material qualities of the existing building and using these as inspirations have given us the opportunity to create a strong contextual interior design for this unique hotel. The project, in its ethical and sustainable ambitions truly can make a difference in the hospitality market, driving future developments. We are looking forward to welcoming the first guests.”

This project is part of the Methodist Church’s aim to become an ethical hotel provider. This means the project looks to use local materials and suppliers wherever possible and will utilise local providers for food and other amenities once in operation. The Church’s ethical commitment also extends to making their hotels as inclusive as possible and accessible to all. The Wesley hotel will provide accessible options to the hotel market within Leeds, with a range of rooms and facilities catering to a wide variety of accessibly challenged patrons. This will make the hotel unique within the Yorkshire Region and one of the few in the UK to provide specifically designed facilities to cater for this user group.

The Wesley redevelopment has planning approval and listed building consent, and is currently at RIBA stage 3, with work planned to start on-site in May 2020, with the aim of opening the hotel in November 2021.

The project builds on Faithful+Gould’s growing portfolio of commercial, residential and hospitality projects in Leeds, including current roles on the major Tower Works and Temple Works schemes in the city centre.