TRAVELODGE is hoping to open a new hotel in Knutsford.

The company is looking for new sites as part of a £3 billion expansion programme creating 9,000 jobs across the UK.

The budget chain is proposing a joint development partnership with local authorities and has written to Cheshire East Council seeking support.

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The Knutsford development could create 50 new jobs.

The move has been welcomed by the town’s mayor.

Cllr Mike Houghton said: “Any inward investment into the town, particularly one that creates employment, is very welcome.

“Ideally, from an environmental impact, I would prefer them to take over an existing asset rather than a new build.”

Travelodge operates nearly 600 hotels, including 16 in Cheshire, and hopes this new venture will act as a catalyst to stimulate regeneration.

The proposal could provide local authorities, as landlord, with a long-term income stream, says Travelodge.

Last year, the company opened three hotels as part of local authority partnerships.

These bespoke agreements had unique funding structures, which enabled local authorities to use their existing assets, create jobs, generate income and help to regenerate brownfield land in strategically important locations.

Funding is provided either directly from the local authority, via the Public Works Loan Board lending facility or third party resources.

When the hotel development is completed, local authorities have the choice to either retain ownership and receive an annual rent or sell it with Travelodge as its operator.

Steve Bennett, Travelodge chief property and development officer said: “In the current climate, local authorities are under extreme pressure to invest in their economy and support regeneration projects.

“This expansion programme could represent a multi-million investment for third party investors and create 50 new jobs.

“Our target locations include Knutsford.

“Our research shows that, on average, Travelodge customers will spend at least double their room rate with local businesses during their stay.

“This can be an annual, multi-million pound boost into each local economy.

“We have a proven track record of working with 25 forward thinking local authorities across the UK.”

Knutsford Guardian: Travelodge Docklands is the company's new London hotel opened through a local authority deal Travelodge Docklands is the company's new London hotel opened through a local authority deal (Image: Travelodge)

Two recent London Travelodge hotel openings were lease-wrapper deals, where the council took a headlease with Travelodge being the undertenant.

The rent that the council pays is lower than the rent it receives from Travelodge, with an annual profit rent for a 30-plus year period.

The council’s covenant strength enables the developer to sell the council leasehold investment to an institutional, long-income fund at a much lower investment yield than a lease to Travelodge would achieve.

This generates a higher end development value, enabling the development to proceed.

Travelodge says this kind of structure enables developments to take place which otherwise would not be financially viable and therefore delivers new town centre regeneration which would not otherwise happen.

Mr Bennett said: “Our effective, innovative co-partnership development deals are spearheading regional economic growth and providing a solid long-term revenue stream.

“Britain is now a nation of budget travellers, with more of us choosing to stay in budget hotels than any other hotel type and this trend is set to grow, which is why we are looking to expand our UK hotel network with a further 300 hotels.

“Adding a Travelodge hotel can be a catalyst to attract new businesses to support regeneration, bring vacant buildings back into economic use as well as attracting thousands of new overnight visitors to the area and revitalising High Streets.”