Whitbread is planning to add more than 30 hotels to its Premier Inn estate by February 2019 as part of its quest to reach 85,000 bedrooms over the next two years.
The expansionist firm said it was planning to open one hotel every two weeks during 2017/18, with the launch of an additional 31 Premier Inns comprising 4,300 bedrooms across the UK.
Whitbread director of acquisitions, Jo Moon, said: "From city centres to national parks, we've secured a fantastic range of sites across the UK this year in the best locations. The pace at which we are doing deals demonstrates how active we are across the country and we plan to build on this momentum, targeting a similar number of Premier Inn and Hub by Premier Inn bedrooms in the 2018/19 financial year."
In London, Whitbread has secured seven new hotel sites, six of which are in zones one and two. Outside the capital, new sites have been added in Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh and Brighton. Deals have also been signed to bring Premier Inn hotels to Brecon, the Isle of Man and Porthmadog, and on the border of Snowdonia National Park, for the first time.
Progress has also been made expanding into new markets, including the Republic of Ireland.
"Premier Inn is a strong growth business. We secure deals on both a freehold and leasehold basis and we are always looking at new ways to recycle capital and unlock value from our existing portfolio through smart deals, such as the forward funding deal for the new Hub by Premier Inn in Shoreditch, East London," added Moon.
Whitbread's preliminary results presentation last week, which included confirmation that its Costa coffee chain would be spun off, noted that there are more than 14,700 Premier Inn and Hub by Premier Inn bedrooms in its committed pipeline. Some 40% of these will be opened in catchments with no existing Premier Inn supply, 30% will be opened in locations with limited Premier Inn supply and 30% will be in higher demand and higher supply areas.
Premier Inn is the UK's largest hotel brand with more than 785 properties.Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).