Russells Construction wins new Travelodge project
Construction will start this week on Loughborough's newest hotel, an 87-bedroom Travelodge at The Wharf. Designed by Hall Needham architects, the contemporary, seven-storey hotel and 4,900 sq ft ground floor commercial unit will be built by main contractor Russells Construction.
Planned for completion by May 2012, the development is being delivered by H2O Urban, a national joint venture between British Waterways and private developer bloc. The hotel development, located on a derelict site on the banks of the Grand Union canal was granted planning permission in March with unanimous approval from the planning committee.
The project is the second part of a two-phase regeneration scheme for The Wharf - which has already delivered new student accommodation, restaurants, public open space and the improvement of the boating facilities - as part of a bid to breathe new life into the town's only waterfront area. It is expected this latest development will create more than 30 new jobs for local people.
Richard Thomas from H2O Urban, said the commencement was an important milestone for the whole team. "Securing Travelodge as the operator for this development was key to enabling this scheme to move forward and so we are obviously delighted to see the scheme starting on site, marking the final phase of this exciting project. The Wharf development has brought back to life a forgotten and underused part of the town, creating an exciting new location for people to live, work and play. It is creating new jobs and much needed hotel rooms for the local market and will hopefully have wider implications for the town by acting as a catalyst for future investment."
The mixed use scheme - including the new hotel and ground floor unit - has been designed to attract both locals and visitors to the basin area and improve access to the waterfront. Mike Coates, from British Waterways, is delighted to see the final stages of the regeneration programme coming to fruition.
He said: "The hotel is the final piece of the jigsaw that will see Loughborough Wharf re energised. This area was once a hive of activity and our aim has always been to bring people back to enjoy the waterfront in a manageable and sustainable way. I have no doubt that the new Travelodge will play a major part in attracting visitors and canal users to the Loughborough basin once again."
The completion of construction and fit out is planned for next summer, in time for the 2012 Olympics when the British and Japanese teams will be based in Loughborough for their pre-games training camps.
Andrew Russell, managing director of Russells Construction, added: "We're pleased to have been appointed as main contractor on this project and to be adding a third hotel brand to our portfolio. We have found the hotel sector coming back online more quickly than many others, with developers, operators and funders working together to bring schemes forward in order to meet demand from events such as the Olympics, and the trend towards staycations and city breaks. This scheme will be a 10-month development by our specialist hotel projects team, and will comprise a concrete and timber frame construction with external render and full fitout."
The new hotel, just off Bridge Street and the A6, will be known as Travelodge Loughborough Central. Agents Tushingham Moore and Hodkinson Elkington are actively seeking an operator for two ground floor retail / leisure units. Interested parties to contact Jeremy Simpson at Tushingham Moore on 0161 833 1197 or Stephen Bradford at Hodkinson Elkington on 01522 698 888 for more information.