SIC asked to consider hotel development

HOTEL chain Travelodge says it has written to Shetland Islands Council about a possible joint partnership to fund the construction of a new hotel in Lerwick on surplus land.

The company has written to a number of local authorities in Scotland as it looks to expand in the country.

It is hoping to sell the idea to councils that they could work with Travelodge to regenerate land and boost local economies.

A Shetland Islands Council spokesperson said that as of Tuesday it had not yet heard from Travelodge and was unable to comment at this time.

The proposal would see a hotel built on surplus council land, with money coming from either local authority funds, low-cost funding from the Public Works Loan Board or third party resources.

After the hotel is built, councils would have the choice of retaining ownership and receive annual rent, or selling it with Travelodge as its operator.

Travelodge had also signalled its intent to build more hotels in Scotland, including Lerwick, last year.

This latest development comes after it was revealed that a plans for a hotel on the Brevik House site in Lerwick have been put on the backburner after a drop in demand for temporary accommodation in Shetland.

Travelodge chairman Brian Wallace said: “Many local authorities are in possession of large amounts of property and assets that are not being utilised. Investing in a low-cost hotel like Travelodge is an increasingly attractive choice, as it draws visitors, creates jobs and helps boost the local economy.

“We operate 44 hotels across Scotland. However the country is growing at pace and attracting visitors from all corners of the globe but there still remains a huge shortage of good quality and great value hotels.

“To fill this gap, we want to extend our Scottish network with a further 20 hotels and this includes our first hotel in Lerwick. To help us achieve this, we are writing to Shetland Islands Council, to invite them to consider how Travelodge can act as a catalyst to drive their local development agenda.”

Other Scottish local authorities the chain has written to include Orkney, Angus, Highland, Glasgow City, City of Edinburgh and Scottish Borders.

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