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Work has finally begun on the building of a new hotel in Lichfield city centre.
The new 79-bedroom Premier Inn will also feature a restaurant when it is completed in summer 2014.
Contractors Lindum Construction have begun work at the Friary Outer site, as part of a £14million redevelopment including residential apartments, a new car park and public toilets.
There had been concerns over the hotel development after an initial chain pulled out of the scheme. However, Gavin Jones, from developers S Harrison, said the new deal will allow the project to push ahead.
“We had initially been working with Travelodge, but following uncertainty over its future growth plans, we teamed up with Premier Inn to deliver a larger hotel on Swan Road,” he said. “As well as boosting the city’s tourism industry, the new hotel will provide around 30 new full and part-time jobs.
“We’re delighted to have Lindum on board as our construction partner.”
Lichfield District Council has welcomed the appointment and start of work on site. Chairman David Leytham said: “This is great news for the city.
“A new hotel with such a strong brand in a prime location will attract even more visitors to Lichfield, which will in turn boost the local economy. We’re also looking forward to launching the new car park soon, as we know that traders and visitors alike are keen to see the 400-space car park open.”
The council hopes the new hotel will further boost tourism in and around Lichfield – and it’s a vision shared by the soon-to-be tenants. John Bates, head of acquisitions UK and Ireland for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said: “Premier Inn is one of the UK’s leading brands and we are expanding across the country on the back of increasing customer demand.
“With its central position and convenient transport access, the Friary Outer site is a great location for our new hotel and will create jobs in Lichfield and attract even more visitors to the city.”