Budget hotel chain Travelodge will be seeking former pubs for sale in order to expand its operations by 100 new small hotels.
The company unveiled plans to develop Metro accommodation, which would see smaller sites containing between 20 and 40 rooms each being launched in prime locations.
Office space in London is one area Travelodge is looking to develop into hotels, along with old pubs, derelict cinemas and theatres, disused business parks and retail outlets.
Guy Parsons, chief executive of the chain, commented that a pilot scheme in Edinburgh showed how successful the Metro model could be.
“Downsizing our hotel building requirements will open hundreds of development opportunities for us. This will enable us to expand quickly and meet the growing demands from consumers who want low cost and good quality accommodation in prime locations,” he added.
Meanwhile, Travelodge has also announced plans to link up with pub companies, including Greene King, Mitchells & Butlers and JD Wetherspoon, as part of a £100 million expansion project.
>Community co-operatives are bringing some of Britain’s flagging local pubs back from the brink of extinction.
The Independent reported this weekend (Saturday April 9th) that residents of Ennerdale Bridge, in the Lake District, came together to come up with a plan to stop the closure of their local pub, The Fox & Hounds.
It closed at the end of last year, and looked set to join the large number of pubs that are closing in the UK.
Last month, the British Beer and Pub Association said pubs are closing at the rate of 25 per week. This may be slower that the 40 per week that were shutting down in 2009, but there were nearly 1,300 fewer pubs in Britain by the end of 2010.
Not so in Ennerdale Bridge. Villagers met in February to moot the idea of buying the pub outright – having only ten days to get together the cash before the pub’s owners spoke to other suitors.
Support gathered quickly – from the 130 people that attended the meeting and said they would pledge cash, a further 50 people joined the co-operative, putting in amounts ranging from £100 to £4,000 each.
>An award-winning pub will be subject to a change of use if plans for a new supermarket go ahead.
The Wimborne-based Royal Oak in Dorset is located on land that has been assigned for redevelopment in a bid to regenerate the area, the BBC reported.
Hill Richmond, the landowner, told the news provider: “The area has been earmarked by Bournemouth council for a supermarket and convenience shops, with an additional 150 car parking spaces.”
Martin Burke, director of the company, said: “We are sorry that the pub land is needed to carry out the essential highways improvements for this redevelopment, but we hope that our scheme will help regenerate the Kinson area for the benefit of local people, who will not have to travel further afield for their weekly shop.”
The Royal Oak has been named winter pub of the season by the local branch of the Campaign for Real Ale and is nominated for the Pub of the Year Award.
Cougar Leisure has entered administration and is to sell off its remaining six pubs and bars spread across the North of England.
The package includes a mixture of freeholds and leaseholds and features the Brannigans branded bars in Blackpool and Manchester, its Mood branded units in Newcastle, the Spirit and View sites in Manchester and the Boardwalk in Sheffield.
The country’s largest pubs group Punch Taverns reported a full-year loss, after it wrote down the value of some of its pubs, though said recent trade had been encouraging.The company has identified about 4,700 leased pubs which have a long term, sustainable future. Around 1,300 pubs have been identified where long term viability is compromised and will ultimately be disposed of. The company, which has over 7,100 pubs, on Tuesday reported a loss of £160 million.
The Guardian is reporting that Punch Taverns have plans to sell 1300 pubs following the announcement of losses of £160 million.
New Chief Executive Ian Dyson said he wanted to stabilise the business — where pubs have been battling the ill-effects of a smoking ban, duty increases and recession — by increasing food sales, reducing debt and pruning its ailing tenanted estate to a core of 4,700 pubs over the next two to four years.
That would be a 40 percent reduction of its leased estate since a peak of 7,500 pubs three years ago.
Pubs and restaurants group Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has announced plans to sell 333 pubs as it withdraws from the “lower price, drinks-led market”.
The pubs are being sold to Stonegate Pub Company,for £373m.
M&B, which owns Harvester and All Bar One, wants to sell off many of its non-core pubs and late-night High Street bars.
Once the sale of the 333 pubs has been completed, the group will have raised £500m from recent asset sales, it said.
The pubs include Scream, High Street Bars & Venues, Town Pubs and Community Pubs.
Following the sales, the group will have 1,580 restaurants and food-led pubs in the UK.