Wednesday, October 9, 2013

News: Travelodge targets Rotherham

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Travelodge, the UK's leading budget hotel company, is targeting Rotherham for a new development but is asking for financial support from the local council to help make it happen.

The company is looking to bounce back from a difficult financial year which included financial restructuring and a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to reduce rent at certain sites. It has a requirement to open 3,000 bedrooms each year with a total requirement for a further 40,000 bedrooms by 2025. In January, it announced a £223m investment programme to help further grow its business in 2013.

Rotherham is on Travelodge's list of UK target locations and this week its property team wrote to 124 Local Authorities highlighting how councils can be creative in securing funds to finance regeneration schemes which included the construction of a Travelodge hotel on land or assets owned by themselves.

It highlights the 81-room Aylesbury hotel (pictured) that has been funded by Aylesbury Vale District Council as part of a £18m regeneration project which includes a Waitrose supermarket, a 270-space multi storey car park and the Travelodge hotel.

The development was supported with prudential borrowing from the local council who borrowed funds from the Public Works Loan Board, a division of HM Treasury at a fixed low rate of 4.5% to fund this project.

The same mechanism was used by Rotherham Council to support the construction of the £20m New York Stadium on the edge of Rotherham town centre.

A town centre hotel remains a key regeneration desire and is included as part of the council's local plan for transforming Rotherham town centre by providing opportunities for tourism and leisure facilities. Feasibility work is being carried out on a potential 100-bed riverside hotel surrounded by restaurants, bars and shops, to replace the former Guest & Chrimes foundry adjacent to the stadium.

Last year, planners recommended that plans for a 80-bed Premier Inn hotel and restaurant at Templeborough be refused, and consider two sites - adjacent to New York Stadium and the former Liquid nightclub - to be preferable sites for a hotel in planning terms.

Paul Harvey, managing director for property at Travelodge, said: "We are the first UK budget hotel brand to work with local councils on co-partnership developments. The deals we have done so far have provided a great investment opportunity for both parties and as a result of this innovative calibration, we have today written to 124 other local authorities across England & Wales to see if we can work with them on a similar scheme."

Travelodge added that is also in advanced negotiations with five other local authorities across the UK for developments utilising land and assets owned by the councils.

Travelodge website

Images: Travelodge

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