£15m boutique hotel in Durham City reopens with the help of Business Durham

Global boutique hotel chain, IHG Hotel Indigo successfully reopened its prestigious £15million hotel and restaurant in Durham City over the summer with help from Business Durham the Business Support Service for Durham County Council.

Hotel Indigo’s 4-star boutique hotel is set within the iconic Grade II listed Shire Hall, which originally opened in 2018 after undergoing a major £15 million refurbishment. The conversion of the listed building into a hotel provided a high-quality addition to the visitor offer in Durham City, and it was developed sensitively to preserve the listed features and the importance of this historic building to the city. The facilities also include a 150-cover Marco Pierre White (MPW) Steakhouse Bar and Grill.

The hotel is a key destination in Durham City and is an important business and leisure asset for the city. Affected by long periods of closure during the Covid-19 pandemic, Hotel Indigo secured a £250,000 business loan from the Finance Durham Fund to overcome trading issues and safeguard its future, as well as helping the hotel to prepare for its re-opening.

Established by Durham County Council in 2017, Finance Durham is a £20m investment fund overseen by Business Durham and managed by Maven Capital Partners, to help businesses to accelerate growth in the county. Since it was launched the fund has invested over £6.8 million into 16 businesses across County Durham.

The fund provides debt and equity funding to support businesses of all sizes from a variety of sectors, and is aimed at companies looking to scale up, create jobs and add economic prosperity in County Durham.

In addition to the Finance Durham Fund business loan, Hotel Indigo also accessed support from the Durham Business Recovery Grant scheme towards implementing its recovery plan which included creating an alfresco dining area to the front and side of the building.  Launched by Durham County Council in January 2021, the Durham Business Recovery Grant was aimed at businesses that had experienced a significant adverse impact from Covid and had a credible plan to adapt and recover.

Tom Orange, General Manager at Hotel Indigo said: “The funding from Finance Durham allowed us to maintain and protect our Hotel during the hard closure, it allowed us to have a core team on site ensuring that day to day checks were carried out as well as making sure core equipment was serviced in readiness for an opening date.

“Receiving the Business Recovery Grant for our outside seating has not only created jobs, it has enhanced the exterior of the premises and Old Elvet as well as creating an exciting Al Fresco dining area to encourage guests and customers alike to dine and socialise outside in good weather.”

Cllr James Rowlandson, Cabinet member for Resources, Investment and Assets at Durham County Council, said: “We’re delighted to be able to ensure a prestige brand like Hotel Indigo remains in Durham City and can continue to grow and thrive.  It is a great example of how we have been able to use a range of business support programmes to help businesses adapt and re-open now that Covid restrictions have lifted.

“It is fantastic to see how we have helped Hotel Indigo get back on track for the future by providing financial support through both the Finance Durham Fund and the Durham Business Recovery Grant. The leisure and hospitality industries are essential to the county, as they help attract people and businesses from across the world, which brings valuable income to County Durham.  We hope more businesses will follow suit and access the funding opportunities we have available through our Business Durham team to create more and better jobs and contribute towards a strong competitive economy for the future.”

Michael Dickens, Investment Manager at Maven, said: “We’re delighted to support such a unique and prestigious project from development through to the opening and running of the hotel itself. The Finance Durham Fund was established to back companies of all sizes and sectors to help address the challenges faced by businesses looking for growth finance. County Durham has an international reputation as a home for dynamic businesses and we are committed to supporting businesses across the county to grow and achieve their ambitions.”