A HISTORIC landmark building in Truro is to be turned into a luxury four-star spa and hotel, the West Briton can reveal.
Nigel Carpenter, owner of St Michael's Hotel and Spa in Falmouth, has bought the Old County Hall site, currently housing council offices, subject to gaining planning permission.
Mr Carpenter hopes to start work next year on the £7.5 million conversion project.
The new owner promises the 40-bedroom hotel and spa will create about 100 jobs and help the local economy.
Mr Carpenter said: "I am delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to convert this wonderful, historic building into a flagship hotel for Truro. It will provide a much-needed facility which will help fuel the growth of our capital city."
The new venture, to be named the Truro Spa Hotel, will retain the historic Old County Hall building and restore its distinctive original features while providing four-star luxury. Much of the ground floor will become a destination spa with facilities including a beauty salon, a large hydrotherapy pool, several different types of steam rooms and saunas along with a fitness suite and café.
The old debating chamber will become an 80-seat brasserie with bar and lounges nearby. There will also be extensive meeting, conference and function facilities with new gardens and landscaping.
Malcolm Bell, head of tourism organisation VisitCornwall, said: "The proposed development would be transformational for Truro by providing a signature hotel and focus which has been sadly missing in the city, Truro has often been seen as a mini-Bath due to its historic city centre and range of shops and eateries.
"Unfortunately, we have not had the equivalent of The Royal Bath Hotel to entertain and accommodate high-end visitors and key visiting business people, let alone potential investors to Cornwall."
There will be 20 long-stay suites designed for business people, possibly those relocating to the area, and 13 homes for sale on the private market. There will be car parking for more than 60 cars. The sale of the building was approved by Cornwall Council's Cabinet at a meeting on June 21 for an undisclosed fee.
Truro councillor Bert Biscoe argued the site should be retained should the council ever need to expand.