Travelodge bid for old leisure centre site
Hotel chain is one of the bidders for town-centre site
A TRAVELODGE hotel could be coming to Hinckley as part of ambitious plans to transform the former leisure centre site.
The budget accommodation brand has been revealed as one of the bidders to deliver a “landmark development” on the empty 3.4 acre Coventry Road plot.
Around half a dozen expressions of interest are thought to have been submitted to Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council after the authority advertised for regeneration proposals.
A spokesman said: “Travelodge have submitted a bid for the old leisure centre site. It is one of a number which have been received and are currently being evaluated.
“A decision is expected soon, hopefully before Christmas. It is a key site, a prime site and it has already been levelled so developers will not need to demolish anything.”
The revelation comes as Travelodge itself admitted it was actively looking for locations in Hinckley and was keen to partner with the council to support local regeneration, create jobs and boost the local economy.
The chain operates more than 550 hotels across the country and has four in the Leicestershire area, at Markfield, Kirby Muxloe, Lutterworth and central Leicester.
During the last three years, Travelodge has completed seven local authority development partnership deals with openings at Aylesbury, Bicester, Dudley, Thetford and Eastleigh.
Hotels in the programme are built on surplus local authority land - like the former leisure centre site - with the funding provided either through the council’s internal resource or via low-cost grant from the Public Works Loan Board or third party resources.
When complete, councils can either retain ownership of the hotel and receive an annu- al rent into the revenue budget or sell the hotel with Travelodge as its operator.
Travelodge say they want to expand with a further 200 plus hotels over the next decade and working in partnership with civic agencies is seen as a key route to deliver this programme.
Borough bosses are keen to see an “exemplar” build on the “gateway” site, which has been split into three sections for development purposes. Current bids are for site A.
The land has been vacant since the 1970s sports complex was razed last year at a cost of £276,000.
Capitalising on the growth in tourism across the area is also a top target for the council. An independent report from business management consultants ACK Tourism, published in September, outlines a vision for “destination management” up to 2022.
It reveals visitor numbers to the borough are expected to increase to around three million a year over the next five years, spending some £140 million.
The report offers most recent figures - for 2015 - which show the borough had around 2.2 million day visitors who spent £66.9 million, while those visitors who stayed spent almost as much at £50.5 million.
ACK concluded a “budget hotel in Hinckley town centre” was a prime aspiration and confirmed Travelodge saw Hinckley as target location.
However, the Travelodge bid must be appraised alongside the competing submissions which include residential and potentially retail/commercial/ leisure.
The site of the former leisure centre on Coventry Road