London hotel recruitment could receive a boost with the news that the government has sold the historic Admiralty Arch to a property investment group.
In a deal worth some £60 million, the Cabinet Office sold a 99-year lease on the property to Prime Investors Capital Limited (PIC), which has already put in place plans to turn the building into a five-star luxury hotel.
Designed by Sir Aston Webb, the Grade I listed property was built in 1912 as a memorial to Queen Victoria and acts as a gateway between The Mall and Trafalgar Square.
However, in recent decades it has served as an office block for civil servants and has remained off limits to members of the public.
Under the deal, PIC, which is run by Spanish developer Rafael Serrano, will restore the property to its former glory, including reinstating many lost features using original Sir Aston Webb drawings from around 1910.
It then hopes to turn Admiralty Arch into a hotel with 100 rooms, with a panoramic restaurant and bar at the top of the building where visitors will be able to enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding area.
The new owners hope to attract more than 50,000 guests a year to the hotel and more than 50,000 visitors for the views, the Daily Telegraph reports.
"We are committed to preserving the iconic status of Admiralty Arch and celebrating Sir Aston Webb's historic design, while restoring, modernising and adapting it sensitively for a new use that will sustain its value for future generations," said Mr Serrano.
"We will deliver the very finest hotel for London, with an unrivalled history and location, while providing maximum security measures to protect surrounding government buildings and areas of state importance."
Cabinet Minister Francis Maude claimed the sale of Admiralty Arch represented the best deal for the taxpayer, while also ensuring the building is properly maintained.
"I'm delighted that the leasing of Admiralty Arch will not only see this landmark building restored to its former glory and opened to the public – but will raise £60 million for the taxpayer," he said.
Berkeley Scott is a leading London hotel recruitment agency