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Stephenson/Bell is putting the final touches to its hotel design for the highly controversial Manchester Free Trade Hall site, held up for a year after the government scuppered a previous scheme. The five-star hotel with 200 beds will cost around £20 million to build behind the Grade II* listed building. The two buildings will be joined by a multistorey glass entrance lobby. The original idea, for a 20-storey hotel, was called in after the council failed to seek alternative bids.

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