One of Birmingham's most famous yet neglected buildings is set to be transformed into a new £35 million hotel and leisure quarter with a rooftop bar and restaurant.

London-based property investor Ciel Capital has unveiled plans to transform the Grade II*-listed Methodist Central Hall into a leisure complex with a hotel, apart-hotel and a mix of retail and food units.

Although the exact details of the project are still being finalised, Ciel Capital said it expected the hotel to have around 160 beds, with a further 60 units in the apart-hotel element.

Previously used as a nightclub, Methodist Central Hall was designed by Ewan Harper & James A. Harper and built in 1904.

Its distinctive tower and terracotta exterior has made it a city landmark.

Central Methodist Hall is to undergo major renovation work
Central Methodist Hall is to undergo major renovation work

In 2015, it featured in the Birmingham Post's Hidden Spaces series which took a look behind the doors of some of the city's most interesting buildings however it has fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years and has had vegetation growing out of the upper floors.

This prompted Historic England to add it to its 'Heritage at Risk' register.

Ciel Capital acquired the building in May and said it had been aware of Central Hall and its unique architectural features for several years but acknowledged the site needed "substantial investment and restoration" to secure its long-term future.

A spokesman added: "Before acquiring Central Hall, the project team spent a year exploring options and ways to make it work as a viable project, both architecturally and financially.

"Several different uses were considered and a hotel was concluded to be the only way forward.

"The total project costs are estimated at around £35 million but this may go up as the design is finalised in response to feedback.

"The biggest challenge is that this is a very complex building, with multiple existing levels, staircases and basement areas. The building is dilapidated and has leaks in several locations.

"If the refurbishment is not commenced soon, the condition of the building will deteriorate further, making a comprehensive renovation and redevelopment less possible."

Ciel Capital said it was targeting the higher end of the hotel market and independent businesses for the leisure units and the complex would include a 'gastro hall' and rooftop bar and restaurant.

Sketch of plans to renovate Methodist Central Hall
Sketch of plans to renovate Methodist Central Hall

The apart-hotel will be branded Stow-Away, a sister company to Ciel Capital, and operated by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality while public access to the site's iconic hall will be opened up and the organ restored.

Plans for the renovation will go on display in Birmingham city centre next week, with the public invited to see the proposals and submit comments ahead of a full planning application being lodged with the city council.

Vedrana Bilanovic Riley, who founded Ciel Capital in 2015, said: "We are very excited to be presenting our plans for Methodist Central Hall to the public.

"The project team has been working hard over the past few months to develop a scheme which is sensitive to the site's unique history and architectural features, all the while delivering an exciting proposal which will provide a landmark new hotel for visitors to Birmingham, plus retail and leisure options for local residents and increasing footfall to local businesses."

* The exhibition runs from 1pm to 8pm on Monday October 9 at Methodist Central Hall, in Corporation Street, Birmingham.