Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Premier Inns joins Travelodge in bid for hotel in Malvern
MORE than 120 new hotel bedrooms – bringing in about £2 million a year – could be created in Malvern if plans by two rival hotel chains come to fruition.
Premier Inns, which has more than 650 hotels across the country, has put in a planning application for a 66-room building on the retail park, off Townsend Way, next to the Malvern Spa and Hotel, claiming the development could bring close to £1 million a year to the local economy.
And this week Travelodge, a rival in the budget hotel market, said it is still committed to a proposal for a 60-room town centre hotel first revealed two years ago on land off Edith Walk in the heart of the town.
Premier Inns, which is working in partnership with Henry Boot Developments, is proposing a three-storey building, with bedrooms on all floors and a breakfast room and kitchen on the ground floor.
In an economic impact statement with its application, the company says the hotel would attract 27,000 visitor nights a year, suggesting this would be worth £991,000 a year in the area, on top of the cost of the hotel stay.
Combined with the rival Travelodge bid, the figures could rise to about £2 million.
Premier Inn describes itself as the UK’s biggest hotel brand. It is owned by Whitbread, also owner of the coffee chain Costa, which wants to open in Church Street, Great Malvern.
Richard Pearson, acquisitions manager for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said: “Malvern adds another quality location in the Midlands and will help to attract new leisure and business visitors to stay in the town, strengthening the local economy.
“Our new 66-bedroom hotel on Townsend Way will create approximately 25 new jobs on opening.
“We look forward to working with the local authority to achieve planning consent and ensuring that Premier Inn becomes a key part of the Malvern business community.”
The Travelodge proposal dates back to July 2011, when the hotel company announced it had signed an agreement with developer Allied Investment Partners to build a hotel.
The hotel is one element in a development, dubbed Foley Court Gardens, for land between the back of the existing Foley Hotel and the Waitrose supermarket.
It also includes shops, restaurants and a residential complex.
A public consultation was held that August, including an exhibition of plans, but no planning application has yet been submitted.
However, a Travelodge spokesman said this week the firm is still committed to the site and hopes to disclose more about its plans soon.
WHAT THE HOTELIERS SAY
HOTELIERS in Malvern have given a mixed response to news that two of the big chains could be checking in on their doorsteps.
With new Travelodge and Premier Inn developments planned for the town, hotels already operating could face increased competition from the so-called ‘budget’ brands.
While some fear the developments could lead to a “rate war”, others said they welcomed the competition.
Philip Booth, owner of Bredon House family hotel in Worcester Road, Great Malvern, said he didn’t think the chains would provide direct competition for his accommodation.
“It’s a very different market, the users of these budget hotels,” he said.
“The problem with the location on the retail park is that although it’s easily accessible from the motorway, it’s not within walking distance of the town centre and the local attractions. We are within that distance.
“In other words, it’s not too much of a threat to us.”
And Barbara Morgan, proprietor of the Cotford Hotel in Graham Road, said she thought independent locations would still attract a certain market.
She said: “I don’t think it will do the town any good, although we’ve managed to survive the coming of Wetherspoon.
“People who come to the town and just want a cheap bed will go there rather than one of the independent hotels, but I think people who want a nice weekend with fine dining will still come to places like ours.”
But Jeremy Sutton, of the Great Malvern Hotel, said: “I don’t think it will be a negative thing.
“Our rates are competitive with theirs, maybe a little higher, so I can foresee a bit of a rate war, but ultimately if it brings people into Malvern, spending money in our shops and restaurants, that’s got to be good for the town.”
And Eddie Gershon, spokesman for Wetherspoon, which owns the Foley Arms, said he welcomed the competition.
“Wetherspoon is more than happy that another company wishes to open a hotel in the town,” he said.
“This is good for the town itself and Wetherspoon is more than happy to face competition."
What do you think about the big chains coming to Malvern? Does the town need some affordable accommodation, or is the need already covered by the hotels currently in the town?
Vote in our poll below and leave your comments below...
Comments are closed on this article.