Travelodge to invest £100m on Scottish expansion

Travelodge's chairman, Brian Wallace, is confident that there is no shortage of demand from customers. Picture: Ed Lane Fox
Travelodge's chairman, Brian Wallace, is confident that there is no shortage of demand from customers. Picture: Ed Lane Fox
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Budget hotel chain Travelodge is seeking to invest £100 million on the expansion of its estate north of the Border, chairman Brian Wallace has revealed.

Speaking during a visit to Edinburgh to mark the group’s 30th anniversary, he said Glasgow was a key area of focus, with five new sites being targeted in the city, along with other locations including Ardrossan, Aviemore, Greenock, Inverness, Oban and Pitlochry.

St Andrews is another area on the firm’s radar, and Wallace said: “We have wanted to be there for a long time but just haven’t been able to find the right site yet.”

In total, Travelodge is aiming to add about 30 hotels to its portfolio in Scotland, where it currently has 40 venues and employs about 700 people. The expansion would lead to the creation of more than 500 jobs across the country.

Wallace said the chain, which saw underlying profits jump 63.5 per cent to £66.2m last year, has enjoyed particularly strong growth in the corporate market, which in the past would have tended to book more upmarket locations for workers.

He added: “We have seen a fourfold increase in the number of business travellers using our hotels, with the likes of some of the big accountancy practices now regular customers. Our performance in recent years and the investment we have made in our hotels means we are very positive about the future.”

Travelodge opened its first Scottish hotel at the M80 services near Stirling in 1985. The group, which almost collapsed under a debt mountain three years ago, is reportedly being lined up for a sale that could value it at more than £1 billion.