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£11m boutique hotel coming to former police station in Cambridge

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A grade II-listed former police station in Cambridge is to be turned into an £11million boutique hotel by the Rogue City Hotel Group.

The Hobson, in St Andrew’s Street, will be a 56-suite luxury hotel and meeting space centred around an atrium-style restaurant. It is due to open in September 2022, the group announced on Tuesday (May 4).

Rogue City Hotel Group plans for the old police station on St Andrew's Street. at 'The Hobson' (46837400)
Rogue City Hotel Group plans for the old police station on St Andrew's Street. at 'The Hobson' (46837400)

Planning permission was granted for the hotel in summer 2019 and construction began, but the pandemic halted progress. The company said work is well under way again, with only a “small change” to the schedule.

It comes after the group secured £21million in funding by Tikehau Capital, the global alternative asset management group, to continue construction on the Cambridge hotel and another in Glasgow, also due to complete in 2022.

Nassar Khalil, founder and CEO of Rogue City Hotel Group and leisure and hotel director of Henley Homes Group, said: “It has been a pleasure working with Tikehau Capital on this transaction over a seven-week seamless closing process, which shows confidence in our concept, in one of the most challenging times for the hospitality industry.”

Rogue City delivers a boutique hotel concept that focuses on providing guests with luxury accommodation, exceptional service, comfort and convenience. Its model operates on the three main principles of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.

The group has major plans to expand exponentially over the next few years with another site lined up in Perth, Scotland, and has its sights set on more national and international locations. The Wellington, the new hotel planned for Glasgow, is scheduled to open in summer 2022.

Interior of The Hobson boutique hotel in Cambridge. Picture: Dexter Moran
Interior of The Hobson boutique hotel in Cambridge. Picture: Dexter Moran

Hobson House, built in 1901, sits on a site associated with the charity founded by Thomas Hobson, the 17th-century Cambridge philanthropist, from whom the phrase ‘Hobson’s Choice’ derives.

The building has previously been a workhouse, a jail for the university, a police and fire station and, more recently, council offices.

The hotel has been designed by Dexter Moren Associates (DMA), who brought conservation and planning expertise to the project.

The project was led by DMA partner Paul Wells, who noted: “Hobson House is an architectural gem located in Cambridge’s historic city centre, with many fantastic original features local people may be unaware of. Sadly, since its conversion to office use in the 1960s, the building has suffered from chronic under-investment and many of its original features have been denied the care they deserve.

“Now that our hotel proposal has been granted permission, Henley can give the building a new lease of life, not only helping to serve the needs of the city’s many visitors, but also preserving and restoring Hobson House for the local residents to embrace and be truly proud of.”

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