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Essex: Hotel chain Premier Inn says area ripe for growth after submitted plans for new hotels in Clacton and Colchester

Premier Inn  is coming to Felixstowe

Premier Inn is coming to Felixstowe

A hotel group set to open two new sites in north Essex has said the region is an area for growth.

John Bates, head of acquisitions for UK and Ireland at Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants John Bates, head of acquisitions for UK and Ireland at Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants

Premier Inn has planning permission for a new-build hotel on Clacton sea front and a town centre site in Colchester’s Dutch Quarter, close to Castle Park.

Hospitality group Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn, has said it is keen to expand its presence in the area based on both tourism and business visitors.

John Bates, head of acquisitions for UK and Ireland at Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants, said: “We are delighted to be investing into Clacton and Colchester and by the planning permissions that have recently been confirmed.

“Both towns are places where we have been keen to grow and invest for some time and we now have the ideal sites to make that happen.

“North Essex is a fantastic region with many attractions and a strong base for both leisure and business customers. We want to contribute to the local economy and add something extra to give people more choice and more reasons for staying in Clacton and Colchester.

“Both sites will reflect the high quality and consistency of our offer, in two very different buildings designed sensitively to suit the different locations.

“As well as channelling fresh investment into both towns, our two new sites will create more than 50 new jobs between them. Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, is working to create 8,000 new jobs over the next five years and half of these new jobs we aim to offer to those who have been long term unemployed.

“We are delighted to be growing our business in Colchester and Clacton and contributing to the breadth of what each has to offer. We are looking forward to getting going with construction and opening our doors to customers as soon as possible.”

The Clacton site was originally given planning permission in February, bolstered this month with approval of a related advertisement consent application.

Premier Inn’s plans for a hotel on a former Royal Mail depot in St Peter’s Street, Colchester, were given the nod in September 2012 but were delayed after borough councillor Jo Hayes challenged the decision through the courts. Her case was rejected by an appeal court judge last month.

The chain already has hotels in Ipswich Road and Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, plus a site in Weeley.

Premier Inn currently has 670 hotels and 55,000 rooms and we are on target to achieve 75,000 rooms by 2018.

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “Today’s news shows Essex means business. Whitbread’s announcement means more tourist and business accommodation in Colchester and Clacton and demonstrates increased business confidence in our economy.

“Whether for business or pleasure, a major player in the hotel trade has recognised that it makes sense to invest in Essex and with that investment comes the prospect of more jobs and local business growth.”

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