Travelodge has revealed plans to open 20 more hotels in Scotland, representing a £125m investment for third-party investors and creating 385 new jobs.
The budget hotel chain made the announcement that it is looking to expand its Scottish network at the official opening of its 74-bedroom Stirling City Centre site (pictured) yesterday.
Target locations include Ardrossan, Aviemore, East Kilbride, Edinburgh Park, Falkirk, Galashiels, Glasgow (five locations), Greenock, Hamilton/Motherwell, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Loch Lomond, Montrose, Newton Mearns, Oban, Pitlochry and St Andrews.
Travelodge is writing to the leaders of the local authorities of these target locations proposing joint development partnerships.
The hotel company already has similar agreements with 12 local authorities in England and Wales, where hotels are built on surplus local authority land. The funding is provided through the local authority's internal resource, low-cost funding from the Public Works Loan Board or third-party resources.
Upon completion of the hotel development, local authorities have the choice of either retaining ownership of the hotel and receiving an annual rent into the council's revenue budget or selling the hotel with Travelodge as its operator.
Brian Wallace, Travelodge chairman, 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.
"[Scotland] 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."
Travelodge operates 44 hotels across Scotland and more than 560 across the UK, Ireland and Spain. It is on schedule to open a 60-bedroom hotel near Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow and is awaiting planning permission to build a 61-bedroom hotel in Elgin in Moray, Scotland.