Whitbread will be opening six new Premier Inn hotels in Chatham, Colchester, Derby, Honiton, Tottenham Hale (London) and Uxbridge. The six permissions were signed within six weeks, pushing the company’s development pipeline to 11,500 bedrooms and helping it get closer to its target of 75,000 UK bedrooms in 2018, from the current 55,000.
John Bates, head of acquisitions UK & Ireland for Whitbread, said: “The six brand new developments are all on different time scales, but most of them will be built out within the next 12 to 15 months, with the Colchester hotel most likely to open first.”
The latest planning consents include a mix of format and locations. The 80-bedroom Chatham hotel will be located on Victory Pier, and was signed on the basis of a long leasehold. The 85-bedroom Colchester hotel was signed as a freehold on the site of the former Royal Mail sorting office on St Peter’s Street. The 118-bedroom hotel in Derby is a freehold on Full Street in the city centre. The 66-bedroom Honiton hotel is a leasehold on Exeter Road. The 91-bedroom Tottenham Hale hotel in North London is a leasehold on Station Road. The Uxbridge development in Middlesex includes an 80-bedroom Premier Inn and a Beefeater Grill restaurant on Riverside Way, and is a leasehold.
Whitbread opened 23 new Premier Inn hotels during its 2013/14 financial year (3,364 net new UK rooms). It plans to open a further 4,500 new UK rooms in 2014/15 – a third of these in London, where Premier hopes to have 20,000 rooms by 2018 (compared to 8,729 today).
“We are on track to break 10,000 rooms open and trading in London by the end of February 2015, as we are due to add another 1,300 rooms to the London market this year. We are also on track to hit our first key milestone by February 2016, which is to have 65,000 rooms open and trading,” added Bates.
Three new hotels for Holiday Inn
Meanwhile IHG is opening three Holiday Inn Express hotels in Grimbsy, Dublin and Middleborough, for a total of 416 new rooms.
Scheduled to open at the end of 2015, Holiday Inn Express Grimsby is an 80-room new build property that will operate under a franchise agreement with Brayford Hotels. It will be located near the main railway station.
Holiday Express Dublin – City Centre is due to open in the spring of 2016, and will be located on O’Connell Street to attract a mix of business and leisure travellers. The 198-room conversion property will operate under a franchise agreement with existing IHG owner Findlater House Ltd.
Converted from an existing office building on the town’s main square, Holiday Inn Express Middlesbrough – Centre Square should also open in 2016. The 138-room hotel will operate under a franchise agreement with Sherland Property OpCo Limited.
Philip Lassman, director of development UK and Ireland, IHG said: “Holiday Inn Express is one of the fastest growing brands in the industry and the brand is certainly doing really well in Europe. The brand offers friendly efficient service, comfortable rooms and a free breakfast – everything a guest needs and nothing they don’t. It’s truly ideal for meeting the needs of corporate and leisure travellers typically taking short weekend breaks and business trips in this part of the world.”
News of the expansions comes after a BDO report revealed that branded budget hotels would be the biggest growth driver for new openings in 2014, putting pressure on independently-owned three-star hotels.
A PwC report discussed at this year’s Hotelympia also predicted strong growth in the budget hotel sector.