Travelodge unveils plans to open 21 new hotels in Scotland

Ardent Group directors Robin Keane (left) and Robert Keane outside the Travelodge in Peterhead
Ardent Group directors Robin Keane (left) and Robert Keane outside the Travelodge in Peterhead

Budget hotel operator Travelodge has detailed the latest phase of its Scottish roll-out in a multi-million pound move that looks set to create 21 new venues and hundreds of jobs.

Property developer Ardent Group transformed flats in Peterhead’s Chapel Street into the new 63-bedroom hotel following a £3 million refurbishment.

Cutting the ribbon on the establishment this week, the chain revealed that a 74-room hotel in Stirling and a 54-room Travelodge in Inverness are both scheduled to open towards the end of 2017.

The three hotels represent an investment value of about £14m for third-party investors and developers who fund the properties and then lease them back to Travelodge, while also creating about 50 jobs.

More ambitiously, Travelodge is eyeing a further 21 potential locations in Scotland, which if secured would mark a 50 per cent increase on the current 42-strong estate. From that target list, nine locations could get their first branded hotel – Ardrossan, Aviemore, Galashiels, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Loch Lomond, Montrose, Oban and Pitlochry. Five targeted areas could get their first Travelodge hotel – East Kilbride, Elgin, Greenock, Newton Mearns and St Andrews.

The firm is also hopeful it can double its portfolio of hotels in Glasgow, which would equate to five new sites.

Overall, the ongoing Scottish expansion would represent an investment value of £100m for third-party investors and lead to the creation of at least 400 jobs. Across the UK as a whole, Travelodge has identified 250 potential new locations.

The new Inverness and Stirling hotels will feature the next generation of the company’s “Travelodgical” contemporary room design, which incorporates bedside USB charging points, softer ceiling lighting and new 32-inch digital televisions.

What the Peterhead site looked like before the transformation
What the Peterhead site looked like before the transformation

The Peterhead development represented Ardent Group’s first hotel for Travelodge and it is confident of adding to Travelodge’s portfolio by sourcing other sites across Scotland in 2017 and beyond.

Robert Keane, director at Ardent Group, said: “We’re delighted to bring a national brand such as Travelodge to Peterhead and, in the process, support the town’s economic development goals. As well creating jobs, the new hotel will generate extra spend in the wider local economy.

“We’ve established a good relationship with Travelodge and would be pleased to work with its management on other projects in the future. We have a number of developments in the pipeline and are always looking for new opportunities or partnerships.”

Ardent used more than 150 local workers on the Peterhead project, which features five disabled rooms and parking for 24 cars. In addition, two shop units are now available either side of the hotel, which has a listed façade. There has been interest in both units, although deals have yet to be completed.

Tony O’Brien, Travelodge UK development director, said: “We were delighted to work with Ardent Group in successfully converting a former block of flats into a brand new Travelodge hotel in the heart of Peterhead town centre. Scotland remains a key growth area for Travelodge, which has been fuelled by businesses looking to reduce travel costs and the new generation independent leisure travellers.”

Ardent hopes to move forward with a large hotel development in Shetland, student accommodation in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and a 300-plus residential development in the Central Belt.

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