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Could Travelodge open a new hotel on Ipswich's Drum and Monkey site?

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:21 19 March 2019

Is Travelodge coming to the Drum and Monkey site in Princes Street? Picture: PAUL GEATER

Is Travelodge coming to the Drum and Monkey site in Princes Street? Picture: PAUL GEATER

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Travelodge could be set to open a new budget hotel on the site of the former Drum and Monkey pub in Ipswich's Princes Street, it has emerged.

The company has announced that it is planning to open a further 100 hotels over the next five years after announcing an 8.8% rise in sales to £693.3million last year.

The announcement comes just days after Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere revealed that a hotel group was interested in moving to the Princes Street site.

Travelodge has said it is looking to open new hotels in business districts near to railway stations which have a fast link to London for commuters.

It obtained planning permission for a new hotel in Ranelagh Road opposite Ipswich station two years ago, but the work has never started.

Now a spokeswoman for the company said it was planning to announce a new hotel near the town centre and railway station – but could not give an exact location because negotiations were ongoing. She could not comment on the Ranelagh Road site.

Mr Ellesmere said he could not confirm or deny who the council was talking to until the deal was agreed. He said last week that the council was looking at a deal to build a hotel with offices and restaurants which would then be leased to a major hotel company through the council’s Ipswich Borough Assets company.

Princes Street is being developed as a major business area – and the council is also planning to build a new multi-storey car park to serve the area behind the Axa insurance offices.

There is already a Travelodge in Duke Street – but the company has several hotels in most large towns and cities and is seeking to increase its numbers as it also attracts business customers.

Each new Travelodge typically creates 30 new full and part-time jobs, and company chief executive Peter Gowers said he was particularly looking to attract staff who were parents and wanted a job that could fit around their childcare responsibilities.

Mr Gowers said the results were helped by investment in price and quality: “Our strategic focus on location, price and quality has enabled Travelodge to deliver a set of excellent results. We extended our network of hotels, remained focused on delivering attractive prices and took another step forward on quality.”

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