A LUXURY hotel at Newcastle Airport will open within months, creating more than 100 jobs.
Airport bosses confirmed last night the sale of the 175-bedroom hotel had gone through, signalling the end to a sequence of frustrating setbacks and delays.
The Cairn Group, which owns the Station Hotel in Newcastle and Holiday Inns at Jesmond, Newcastle and Scotch Corner, has taken over the airport site in a deal worth £25m.
An announcement on the operator is due shortly and it is expected a major international brand will run the complex, which will include function and conference facilities.
Planning permission for a hotel at the airport was first granted in 2005 and construction started three years later.
But Tyneside businessman Joe Robertson’s plans to take ownership of the project were scuppered when two British Virgin Islands-registered businesses went into administration.
The Hilton Group had previously been linked to the development, with the worldwide operator keen to build on the success of its Quayside venture in Gateshead.
Dave Laws, the airport’s chief executive, said: “We are absolutely delighted by the sale of the hotel. It is long awaited by our customers in the North East as well as tourists visiting the region.
“The glass fronted, modern building provides exceptional views over the airfield and seamless access into the terminal, and the facilities are second to none.
“An enjoyable journey through the airport for our customers is a priority for us. We want their well-earned break to begin as they arrive on site, and the hotel will fit perfectly with this.
“We look forward to the grand opening in a few months.”
The hotel will create 125 jobs and provide quality conference facilities for businesses. Up to £3.5m will be spent to complete the project.
A spokesman for the Cairn Group said: “This is a fantastic hotel in a great location. It’s going to be a great asset to the region and its good news that it’s been taken over by a company from the North East.
“We are starting work on completing the hotel immediately and hope to have the bar and restaurant up and running within six weeks, with the hotel fully operational soon after that.”
The hotel will also house the Cairn Group’s third Fratello’s Italian restaurant in the region after the success of the outlet at their other North East-based hotels.