Apex group wins £29m funding for English hotel expansion

Scottish hotel group Apex has secured a £29 million funding deal to support its expansion in the English market.

Picture: Toby Williams

Next year Apex will open a £35m hotel in Bath – its first property in England outside of London – to take its total portfolio up to ten.

The finance package secured from Bank of Scotland will help fund development of the 177-bedroom property which will join Apex’s existing sites, comprising four hotels in Edinburgh, one in Dundee and three in London. Its Apex City of Glasgow hotel opened its doors in September.

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Yesterday’s funding announcement came after the Edinburgh-headquartered group revealed that events such as the Ryder Cup and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games boosted turnover in its latest financial year. Turnover rose to £57.3m from £56.1m although pre-tax profits fell to £4.7m from £6.8m.

Ian Springford, chairman at Apex Hotels, said: “The new hotel in Bath is an exciting opportunity for the group and we’re proud to have secured a great location in a booming city.

“With the new development, we’ll be able to offer a new contemporary hotel to the people of Bath, ideal for both tourists and professionals travelling to the city.

“Following a strong financial performance, our expansion marks the company’s 20th anniversary with a new venture that supports our long-term visions of growth.”

Alistair Macpherson, relationship director at Bank of Scotland, said: “Apex Hotels has delivered strong growth in recent years thanks to its expansion into new regions. The business has a reputation for high-quality service and facilities and we’re pleased to have supported its first venture in the South West.

“We’re committed to supporting ambitious business like Apex Hotels as they expand into new markets, which will allow them to drive long-term growth.”
 The four-floor Apex City of Bath Hotel on James Street West will create more than 100 jobs in the area and will be the largest hotel in the city.

It will feature a swimming pool, gym, and conference and meeting facilities that have a capacity of more than 420 people to cater for the city’s flourishing corporate district.

Meanwhile, a report yesterday named Edinburgh as one top ten “hot spots” for hotel developments across the UK.

The top three cities identified by Colliers International are Cardiff, Manchester and Leeds, with Edinburgh in eighth place.

The commercial estate agent analysed locations by land value, room occupancy rates and construction costs.

Marc Finney, head of hotels and resorts consulting at Colliers International, said: “High land prices in London are causing investors to look outside of the capital to spend their cash. As such, we are increasingly being asked by our hotel investor and operator clients which UK regional cities offer the best development opportunities.”