Oxford City Council is set to invest £37million to transform a city centre cinema into a new community hub and aparthotel.

The lease on 38-40 George Street, which currently operates as an Odeon cinema, runs out in September 2024. Since September 2022, the City Council has been carrying out a procurement exercise to find the best use for site over the coming years.

The highest scoring proposal will see the building demolished and redeveloped, with community space on the ground floor and an aparthotel on the upper five floors.

The £37 million new building would meet modern building standards and include social value commitments through the construction and lease term, including apprenticeships for Oxford youngsters and paying all staff at least the Oxford Living Wage, including to those working at the aparthotel.

The City Council’s Cabinet will meet on 12 July to discuss the highest scoring proposal and sign off thetransformation of the site. If Cabinet approves the scheme, the City Council will begin work to seek planning permission for the redevelopment.

The new operator of the community hub and aparthotel will be revealed later this summer, and will take a 40-year lease on the building. The aparthotel will feature around 145 rooms built on the upper five stories of the new building, with a reception on the ground floor and lounge and bar/café.

Councillor Ed Turner, deputy leader of Oxford City Council, said:

“This is a once-in-a-generation redevelopment of one of Oxford city centre’s iconic buildings. We are extremely excited to see the building transformed to provide a new community hub in the heart of Oxford city centre. It is unfortunate that Odeon has announced the closure of their cinema in Magdalen Street, and we hope they may reconsider this decision. The aparthotel will also encourage more overnight stays in Oxford city centre, providing a significant boost to hospitality businesses, particularly George Street’s theatres, restaurants and bars, and it will provide valuable income to support frontline services such as youth workers and grants to voluntary sector organisations.”

Source: Serviced Apartment News

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