Restaurant and hotel operator Whitbread has secured nine new properties adding 1,000 rooms to its hotel portfolio alongside five new pub restaurants in a deal worth £100m.
The group, which also owns Costa Coffee, has acquired five new joint sites where one of its Premier Inn budget hotels will be built alongside a new pub restaurant; three of which will be Beefeaters and two Table Tables.
Two new stand-alone Premier Inn hotels with integrated restaurants will add more than 500 rooms in London. A 325 room hotel will be located on Leman Street, Aldgate, alongside a 194-room hotel in Greenwich.
Whitbread also has plans for a 136-room hotel in Preston and a 135-room property in Doncaster.
Joint sites include a 60-bedroom Premier Inn with Beefeater restaurant in Glasgow; a 55-room Premier Inn with Beefeater restaurant in Kendall in the Lake District; a 50-room hotel and Beefeater in Newport and a 50-room hotel and Beefeater in Shropshire.
A further two hotels will be accompanied by Table Table restaurants in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, and Rugeley, Staffordshire. All of the joint sites are expected to be open in either 2010 or 2011.
Mark Anderson, property director for Whitbread hotels and restaurants, said the move was "bright news" for the company in increasingly gloomy economic times.
"We have disciplined targets for growth. These investments demonstrate that we are well on our way to delivering them. For us, it's more a case of opportunity bites than credit crunch.
"Our property acquisitions team is identifying prime sites for development across the UK and Ireland as we roll out our expansion plans."
Whitbread swapped 21 hotels owned by Mitchell & Butlers for 44 of its restaurants last week.
By Gemma Sharkey
E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.