From university hall of residence to a boutique hotel

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A former hall of residence at the University of Sheffield is to be converted into a boutique-style hotel.

Work is starting on a £1.8m refurbishment of Halifax Hall to create 38 bedrooms.

The Victorian mansion became one of the university’s halls of residence, and is now to become “one of the finest venues in Sheffield for university, corporate and leisure visitors”.

Due to open in July, it will be marketed for conferences and weddings, with six weddings already booked.

“Our research showed a need for a local, quality overnight hotel-style offer that is clearly differentiated from other venues within the city,” said Caryn Masters, head of commercial services at the University of Sheffield.

“Business growth in conferences and events is forecast over the next five years, and our aim is to provide an affordable high end offer in particular to satisfy the university needs. Residential bedrooms are regularly requested from conference organisers using existing university-operated conference venues.”

A former steel baron’s mansion, off Endcliffe Vale Road, Halifax Hall was a hall of residence for more than 80 years and was refurbished recently as a conference and events venue.

Overseeing the latest transformation is general manager Paul Foster, a former manager at Snoozebox Portable Hotels and hospitality manager at Manchester United. Business development manager is Sarah-Jane Johnston.

Hotel operators in Sheffield say business is tough at the moment, especially for midweek corporate trade, but the weekend leisure market is holding up.