25th September 2018
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Hotel chain sets its sights on ‘up-and-coming’ destination Lerwick

The national hotel chain Travelodge has written to Shetland Islands Council to propose a new hotel in Lerwick.

Travelodge has written to the SIC to ask about potential development sites.

Shetland is one of 20 areas identified by the firm, as the chain looks to expand across Scotland.

According to Travelodge, they have written to the SIC to propose a “joint development partnership” to finance a new hotel in Shetland, which they claim will unlock “development potential in the isles”.

But the council’s communications department said that the authority could not yet comment on the proposals because the letter had not arrived.

The firm announced plans for expansion on Monday as its newest hotel, located in Stirling city centre, opened.

Travelodge’s plans have seen them write to 20 local authorities across Scotland, with Kirkwall in Orkney also on the firm’s radar.

If successful the company claims the expansion will represent an investment of £125 million and could create 385 new jobs.

According to the chain, the letter to the SIC outlines how it has worked alongside 12 local authorities in England and Wales to create jobs and boost the economy.

Travelodge believes it can do the same for Shetland, which it has identified as an “up-and-coming tourist destination”, and in doing so help the council to achieve its aims of increasing visitor numbers.

Agreements between the hotel chain and local authorities have had unique funding structures, Travelodge said. Hotels have been built on surplus local authority land, with funding provided either through internal council resources, the Public Works Loan Board or third-party resources.

Upon completion, local authorities can choose to either retain ownership of the hotel, receiving an annual rent, or sell the hotel with Travelodge as its operator.

Travelodge chairman Brian Wallace 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.”

He added: “We want to extend our Scottish network with a further 20 hotels and this includes our first hotel in Lerwick. To help us achieve this, we are writing to Shetland Islands Council, to invite them to consider how Travelodge can act as a catalyst to drive their local development agenda.”

About Keegan Murray

Reporter for The Shetland Times. Interested in politics, literature and music. Born and bred Shetlander. Long suffering Newcastle United supporter.

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5 comments

  1. Gordon downing

    Hope it’s cleaner than the one in Bridge St / union St Aberdeen

    Reply
    • fraser cluness

      I’d hope it would be staffed by locals here and they would have more pride in their work, saying that ive been in London Edinburgh Glasgow and Aberdeen ones and they have always been spotless

      Reply
  2. Tony Erwood

    So, Travelodge wants to build a bland uninspiring hotel in Shetland and it wants SIC to pay for it. Really ? I think they are taking the ****. How about, they discuss with SIC and the existing Shetland tourism providers to see if another hotel is needed and if so, they pay for it. If they have a good business case they should have no problem is raising the necessary funds for the venture.

    Reply
    • Sylvia Majka

      I could not agree more. I was so lucky to have visited Shetland some years ago and have been keeping up with some of the developments via the Shetland times-large cruise ships coming in now-the push for population increase. I have always wanted to return. The charm is the smaller B & Bs (do you still have them anymore?) and the quaintness of the island. I stayed at Isbister. Large chain hotels may bring in more tourists, but less of the island will still be Shetland-fiercely independent. Progress is often inevitable, but I would hope that the building codes would mandate the design of the place must be in keeping with beautiful Shetland’s existing architecture. I walked all over town and was not afraid-ever. The countryside and the sea were beautiful. Please don’t end up putting a McDonald’s down on some beach boardwalk.
      Beautiful Shetland!! Proceed with caution.

      Reply
  3. Haydn Gear

    I would suggest that people interested in the Travelodge empire google Travelodge owners . It quickly becomes evident that it is a huge money making business which is definitely not in need of financial support from Shetland. What a nerve these people have. They may argue that a hotel in the Isles would be beneficial and it would be ————- to their enormous assets.

    Reply

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