Hotham Hall was bought four years ago by David Kilburn, founder of building supplies firm MKM, and his wife Linda as a private home and start-up events business.
The Georgian house, which is Grade II* listed and was built in 1720, already hosts weddings and has five 5* boutique hotel rooms.
The latest proposals will add a spa, a “low impact” timber building, built on stilts, taking inspiration from Japanese design “to snuggle unobtrusively into the landscape”. Featuring five treatment rooms, yoga studio and pool it would cater for 30 guests.
Mr Kilburn, who was made a CBE in the King’s first honours list, founded MKM with friend Peter Murray in 1995 with just five staff and the help of his wife. It now has thousands of workers and more than 100 branches nationally.
Mr Kilburn is also a president of Hull City, sponsors the MKM Stadium and has recently joined the board of Hull Kingston Rovers.
In planning documents submitted to East Riding Council, developers Hotham Hall Estate state that between £7m and £8m will be invested in the proposals, on the back of a renovation and investment programme which “to date has exceeded a £12.5m investment from the owner’s personal wealth”.
They add: “From the outset, Hotham Hall was not purchased purely as a residential property. The business plan outlined the need to create an income stream to support the ongoing costs of employment, heating and maintenance of the 115-acre estate.”
The parkland has been used for various events including for Opera North, Sailors Children Society, and a classic car festival, private dining, as well as weddings, but the developers say they have been restricted by only having seating inside the hall for 45 people to dine in one room. They are proposing to convert outbuildings to include nine further 5* luxury suites.
The machine sheds will become a larger events space with seating up to 120 people. There’ll also be a members club with a restaurant and bar, lounge areas and private dining facilities.
The business case adds: “Our research and that of other country estates of a similar nature in the area e.g. Rudding Park, demonstrate quite clearly that successful event venues need to offer the customers more than just rooms for the events.
“They need great accommodation, facilities to occupy the various parties whilst attending, and facilities to help the bridal parties look their best for the great event.
“Comparable venues and destinations in the UK, offer a full range of services and facilities including a spa and without comparable services, Hotham Hall will not be able to compete.”
They suggest a list of business providers that could benefit including audio engineers, wedding planners and catering suppliers and say the spin off for the local economy is difficult to predict “but will be worth at least several hundreds of thousands of pounds.”