Hotel chain eyes up Ripon site

The hotel chain has written to Harrogate Borough Council with its proposals. (S)
The hotel chain has written to Harrogate Borough Council with its proposals. (S)
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Giant chain Travelodge is trying to strike a deal with the local authority to construct a new hotel in Ripon.

The company has written to Harrogate Borough Council proposing a development partnership with the authority to finance the build.

The proposals would emulate a similar scheme in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, where Travelodge opened an 81-room hotel this week, and one at Eastleigh, in Hampshire, which opened earlier this year.

“Working with local councils in this creative way has been a great experience for us,” said Paul Harvey, managing director for property at Travelodge Hotels.

“If Harrogate Borough Council has suitable land or assets in a location that is viable for a Travelodge hotel then we would be delighted to work with them to help boost their local economy, create new jobs within the community and generate a good return for their investment.”

The schemes involve local authorities borrowing money from central Government via the Public Works Loan Board at a fixed low interest rate to regenerate spare land.

Rental deals lasting 25 years are then struck between the local authorities and Travelodge for the use of the buildings.

In the case of the Aylesbury hotel, the development of the 16,000sqm site involved the local council borrowing £18m at a fixed annual interest rate of 4.5 per cent.

Travelodge, which already has 18 hotels across Yorkshire, claims the rental deal agreed in Aylesbury and income from two other site occupiers – a supermarket and car park – will generate a double-digit return for the local authority on its investment.

The company is already in advanced negotiations with five local authorities across the UK about similar deals.

In Ripon, planning permission has already been granted for two hotel schemes over the past two years.

Proposals to build a new 60-bed hotel in Ripon were approved in June by Harrogate Borough Council as part of the Morrisons development at the southern edge of the city.

And two years ago, Canalside Developments was granted planning permission to build a 45-bedroom hotel on Boroughbridge Road, east of Ripon bypass.

At the time of going to press, a spokesman for Harrogate Borough Council said the letter from Travelodge had not been received.