Spanish hotel company Meliá Hotels International is to open a third hotel in the UK - and its first outside London.
Construction is set to begin on the four-star, 208-bedroom Innside Manchester Hotel during the second half of 2012. The hotel will form part of the new First Street North development, which is a major tourism development project and multi-purpose cultural space. More than one million visitors a year are expected to be attracted to the venue.
Leader of the Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese thanked "the participation of a company of the size of Meliá Hotels International in this project, adding a vote of confidence to the potential of our new vision for Manchester".
Innside by Meliá is the contemporary city-centre brand of Meliá, which operates 350 hotels worldwide under seven brands. The new Manchester hotel will overlook the cultural centre, with its two theatres, five cinemas, art galleries and restaurants.
Meliá's chief executive and vice-chairman, Gabriel Escarrer, said: "The new cultural outlook for Manchester is an ideal framework for the growth of Innside by Meliá, a brand which originated in Germany and which enjoys a fantastic reputation among our customers and which we aim to bring to new cities in Europe".
The deal confirms the interest of Meliá in the UK, one of the most important markets for the company, which currently has one UK hotel open - the four-star, 581-bedroom Meliá White House in Regent's Park, London - with its second property, the five-star, 157-bedroom ME London, opening in the summer prior to the Olympics.
By Janet Harmer
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Published by: The Caterer