Deal struck to bring first branded budget hotel to town centre

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Hotel brand, Travelodge, has signed a long-term deal with town and city-centre regenerator, Muse Developments and Rotherham Council, to become the latest anchor occupier at Rotherham’s Forge Island.

It will see a new 69-room hotel delivered in the heart of the town centre, as part of the area’s wider repurposing and transformation into a mixed-use destination.

Travelodge becomes the second major signing at Forge Island, following the news earlier in the year that cinema operator, The Arc, had agreed to open its seventh site at the scheme.

Plans being brought forward by Muse and the council include a number of food and drink outlets and a car park.

The development will be set within a public square, complete with a new pedestrian bridge connecting the scheme to the wider town centre.

Dan Needham, development director at Muse Developments, said: “Bringing a major occupier in Travelodge to Forge Island further highlights our collective commitment with the council to create a connected, innovative and inclusive scheme that brings people back to the town centre.

“We’re working hard to drive investment and growth to benefit the Rotherham community, along with providing a range of employment opportunities too.

“Forge Island represents what can be done when the best of the public and private sector come together with a clear vision and we’re looking forward to bringing the scheme forward in due course.”

Tony O Brien, Travelodge UK development director, added: “We are delighted to be opening our first hotel in Rotherham at Forge Island.

“This development is our 23rd local council hotel partnership. This type of partnerships is of huge benefit to local communities as it helps regenerate vacant space and supports inward investment.

“This often leads to further development, new job creation and increased income via business rates for the local council.

“There are no branded budget hotels in the centre of Rotherham and this hotel will help attract new visitors to the area.

“This is great news for the local economy as research shows, customers will spend on average double their room rate with local businesses during their stay which can equate to an annual multi-million pound boost for the Rotherham economy.”

Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for jobs and the local economy, Councillor Denise Lelliott, said: “It’s great news that Travelodge has signed up to be part of the Forge Island development and joined The Arc Cinema in helping to create a fantastic asset for people across the borough to make use of.

“We’re determined to create a long-term vision for the town centre and can’t wait to see people using the hotel, cinema and cafes and restaurants that will be on site in the future.

“Travelodge will be an asset to Rotherham, and I’m pleased that they have selected our town to expand their already well known and recognised brand across the country.”

Following the deal it is anticipated that construction will begin in 2022.