Whitbread, the owner of the Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn hotel brands, is reopening its construction sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hamilton and Thurso this week as the business focuses on safely continuing building work on its pipeline of new hotels in Scotland.
The sites under construction, which account for £55m of investment by Whitbread and its development partners, include a new super-sized 249-bedroom hotel in Glasgow’s St Enoch Square, a 136-bed hotel on Edinburgh’s world-famous Princes Street and Premier Inn’s most northerly hotel in Thurso in the Scottish Highlands.
More than 190 new permanent jobs are expected to be created at the four hotels when they open their doors to guests during this financial year – with the recruitment process at each hotel starting approximately three months ahead of a new site opening.
Alex Flach, UK Development Director at Whitbread, said, “The challenges currently facing the hospitality industry has not blunted our ambition to continue to grow the Premier Inn brand in Scotland. We have been investing heavily in Scotland for years and these latest hotels continue our strategy of expanding Premier Inn in prime city centre locations, investing in regeneration schemes in well-connected towns and growing our network in popular tourist locations where we do not have a presence.”
“The Scottish Government has been clear that construction is important in helping the economy to bounce back from the crisis. Before re-opening our sites in Scotland, we have been working closely with our development and construction partners to ensure we can continue to invest and deliver our new hotels whilst meeting the latest industry guidance on social distancing. The sites look different, with fewer workers on-site at any one time, but we’re pleased to be back and progressing with the builds under the new working arrangements.”
In line with the Scottish Government’s phased plan out of lockdown, Whitbread’s development team has put in place additional on-site measures to protect workers and the general public and ensure social distancing. With the Scottish Government confirming on 18th June that construction sites can return to ‘steady sate operations’ with appropriate measures in place, Whitbread is finalising the plans for a phased restart at each site.
Whitbread is planning to open the four Scottish hotels this financial year. Earlier this month, the business announced that it was restarting work on 35 construction sites in England and Wales in line with public health and industry guidance.
The business opened more than 2,300 new Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn bedrooms in the UK during the 2019-20 financial year, expanding its total national network to 821 hotels, including its first Premier Inn hotel in Aviemore. It has 13,000 Premier Inn bedrooms in its secured pipeline in the UK and Ireland.
Outside of the UK, Whitbread has an open and committed pipeline of almost 10,000 bedrooms in Germany across 52 hotels. The business opened 13 Premier Inn hotels across Germany in May, bringing the total network of Premier Inn hotels in the country to 19. By the end of the year Whitbread expects to operate a total of 20 hotels in Germany.