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Part of a trend if anything.
It was the restoration and relaunch of St Pancras Midland Hotel (2011) and the Great Northern Hotel (2013) that kicked a lot of this stuff off, and English Heritage have become very keen on hotels as sustainable uses of heritage buildings (see here), quote -
"Hotels are a very good indicator of the state of the economy because they reflect the demand from business users during the week and from leisure users at weekends. Strong demand is a barometer of economic confidence, as is investment by hotel groups or by smaller proprietors in new capacity or in refurbishing and upgrading their existing accommodation. English Heritage very much welcomes this, as it has long been recognised that hotel use is one excellent way of providing an economic future for large historic buildings; equally hotel owners and managers gain competitive advantage from being able to offer the special experience of staying in buildings that are rich in history and character."
The precursor that tickled Haringey's fancy, all those years ago, was Bethnal Green Town Hall which opened as a 5 star hotel back in 2010. The hotel option at Hornsey TH was a stated favourite solution of the council leader thereafter... and FEC had already converted a listed building in Shepherds Bush into a hotel, so...
If people want to know why the hotel option got to the top of the pile, look no further really, the main players saw it as the answer. I guess we'll get to see if they were right.
Definitely part of a trend which Locality has documented through FoI and the Express has broadcast as part of a Great Sell Off
"Instead, they are turned into luxury hotels like the former Grade II listed Ealing Town Hall in west London and the landmark Liverpool Municipal Buildings – in public ownership for more than 150 years before it was sold to Singapore-based property firm Fragrance Group for £10.2million last year." HTH also gets a mention