Premier Inn seeks more Manchester sites as it opens fifth hotel in city centre

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Budget hotel chain Premier Inn has launched its fifth hotel in Manchester city centre.

Opening its doors today, the new 157-bedroom hotel is located at Princess Street within the £750m Circle Square development and constructed above a multi-storey car park.

Owner Whitbread said the hotel brings Premier Inn’s latest format bedrooms to the Oxford Road area and increases its network in the city to more than 960 rooms.

Kevin Murray, senior acquisition manager for Whitbread, said: “Manchester is a hugely popular and thriving market for Premier Inn guests travelling for business and leisure.

“It is also a city where we are seeking to redefine, improve and expand our presence in key destination locations.

“The new Princess Street Premier Inn symbolises how we want to grow in the city – by investing in bold and sustainable hotels where we expect to see long-term demand for our style of affordable accommodation.”

Whitbread said the new development at Princess Street has created an opportunity for Whitbread to actively manage its network of hotels in the city.

A short walk from the Princess Street hotel, Whitbread is proposing to redevelop the site of its Deansgate Locks Premier Inn into a mixed-use development consisting of 370 apartments and ‘high-quality’ workspace fitting of its gateway location.

The business is also seeking out new locations for Premier Inn and its hub by Premier Inn brand in the Piccadilly area of the city and at Eastlands near Manchester City’s Etihad Campus and Sportcity.

Development opportunities of between 100 and 200 bedrooms are sought at both locations.

The group suffered a £1bn loss in the past year due to hotels being shut during the pandemic – but bosses are pinning hopes on Britons booking staycations this summer.

Whitbread said the loss was due to the vast majority of its estate being forced to close for much of the first six months of the financial year ending February 25.

Subsequent restrictions following more recent lockdowns also hit the business, with occupancy levels at just 23% in January and 29% in February.

However, the group said searches on its website indicate that this staycation demand is also being seen in the city, with spikes in demand during the summer half-term break and the first weeks of the summer school holidays for Premier Inn rooms across Greater Manchester.