A HISTORIC hotel which has been a Colchester landmark for hundreds of years will close for three months so the final stage of its expensive renovation can be completed.

George Hotel, in the town centre’s High Street, is undergoing a £10 million refurbishment to restore the iconic venue, while also modernising the facilities, overnight rooms and building.

As a result, the Grade II* listed structure, which was recently described as “nationally rare” following an architectural report, will close its doors at the end of this month so the finishing touches can be carried out.

The extensive revamp, taken on two years ago by developers Flying Trade Group, will refresh the former coaching inn’s decor and improve the site’s disabled access, while respecting and preserving its heritage.

The work will be unveiled during a grand reopening of the 47-bedroom, medieval stay-over in October.

Suki Dulai, chief executive of Flying Trade Group, said: “We are at a very exciting stage of the George renovation and feel greatly privileged to be tasked with bringing this historic site into the 21st century while respecting its heritage.

“We have to ensure we don’t lose the historical atmosphere of the building.

“We are passionate about retaining the charm and ambience of this beautiful hotel.” The regeneration and forthcoming closure, which will also see the internal

Café George reinvigorated and the entire hotel rewired and replumbed, will force employees to temporarily relocate to the group’s other hotel sites.

But once reopened, about 40 jobs are expected to be created from the project as employers look to fill new hospitality and building roles and bring the hotel into the present.

Mr Dulai said: “We want to expose the history within the George, so customers can feel and appreciate the warmth and depth of its past, while also enjoying the comforts and convenience of modern life, whether that be WiFi or cappuccino.”