5th December 2013

RBH is delighted to announce the signing of a management contract to operate the 206 bedroom new build Leeds Arena Hilton Hotel, which will be built and owned by GB Group Holdings.

Under a franchise deal, £30 million will be spent on the new development of the upscale Hilton Leeds Arena, due to open in 2016. Located just 300 metres from the 13,500 capacity First Direct Arena, which has already hosted the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Sir Elton John, the hotel will add its own touch of stardust for visitors to the complex.

Hilton Leeds Arena will become the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts branded hotel to be managed by RBH, which currently has 58 properties under management contracts and long-term leases. Hilton Worldwide's partnership with RBH includes three further properties across Europe, Middle East and Africa, under the rapidly expanding DoubleTree by Hilton brand in Cape Town, Dundee and the soon to open hotel in Edinburgh City Centre.

Ross Morrow, chief technical officer of RBH, said, "As the UK's largest independent hotel management company, we are seeing significant opportunity for growth within the market place. We are delighted to be working with GB Group Holdings, developing our partnership with Hilton and adding another impressive luxury hotel to our portfolio of properties."

The signing of Leeds Arena Hilton Hotel also consolidates the luxury portfolio of RBH, with the group now boasting sixteen 4 and 5 star hotels with global brands such as Hilton Hotels & Resorts, IHG, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The group also has an impressive 18 AA Rosettes, and recently retained a coveted Michelin Star, for the 3rd successive year, at the private label hotel Grand Jersey.

Rob Palleschi, global head of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, said, "We're delighted to bring another hotel to the city of Leeds. Our brand has strong ties with the entertainment industry, so we're particularly excited to be locating so close to one of the UK's most sought-after new venues. With Hilton Leeds City also undergoing a £4 million refurbishment this signing underlines our ongoing commitment to the Leeds market."

Along with 206 guest rooms and suites, the property will boast a destination restaurant, business centre, gym and a rooftop bar offering views of the city skyline from a 14-storey height. Whilst enjoying unrivalled proximity to the First Direct Arena, guests are also within walking distance of Leeds Rail Station and directly next to the Rose Bowl conferencing facility, affiliated to Leeds Metropolitan University.

Martin Smout, chairman and CEO of GB Group, said, "This is a key development for us, and marks an important milestone in our evolution from a developer contractor into a property owner investor. We are thrilled to have secured the go-ahead and funding to deliver this ambitious scheme at the heart of one of the UK's most exciting cities, and look forward to working closely with our partners to build what will become the premier destination for business and leisure in Leeds."