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More hotels needed in Preston’s city centre to meet growing tourist and business demand

Posted on - 29th April, 2013 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, News
The Premier Inn on the Ringway is one of the newest city centre hotels

The Premier Inn on the Ringway is one of the newest city centre hotels

More mega-hotels could be coming to the city as new research shows there’s a shortage of hotel rooms in Preston.

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The study identifies a need for more city centre hotels with more than 100 bedrooms and also boutique hotels or restaurants with rooms around Winckley Square.

Figures from GVA RGA, who were commissioned by Preston City Council, show up to 700 new bedrooms are needed to meet growing demand.

They say the occupancy rates are outperforming the UK average due to Preston’s corporate sector and ever-expanding university.

Occupancy levels on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s exceed 80 per cent and Saturday’s are regularly at 78 per cent or more.

Conferencing could also be a new growth area for the city, according to the study, as the existing facilities are limited in the city centre.

The economic benefit to the city an the surrounding areas (taking in South Ribble and Chorley) of tourism is estimated at £46 million per year and growing 4.5% in the last six years.

Nigel Mills, Senior Consultant, GVA RGA said: “Preston’s economic growth prospects appear to be encouraging and the local hotel market is already seeing a number of positive growth signals.

“Preston’s economy is being further underpinned by an impressive regeneration programme which should positively impact the city’s hotel development prospects.”

A new city centre hotel which will be branded, and above a 3*, is likely to be built in a “prominent location” according to the report which has been welcomed by the council.

Councillor John Swindells, cabinet member for planning and regulation said: “This report is really positive and highlights another industry sector which can benefit from investing in Preston. The recent announcement of the successful £1 million bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for Winckley Square, an area highlighted in the report as being potentially suitable for a boutique style hotel / restaurant-with-rooms, comes at just the right time.

“Hotel development prospects for Preston are positive and we are urging operators and developers active in the North West to consider potential sites within Preston. The negative impacts of the recession have been short lived in the city with strong signs of recovery.”

The full report is available to view in full on the council website.

Key hotel facts

There are 30 hotels in the PPUA serving the Preston hotel market, comprising 1,657 bedrooms

Only 22.5% of room supply is situated in the city centre, all of which is graded 3* or lower.

The majority of hotel supply in the area is situated out of centre, and close to the motorway network.

Occupancy levels midweek exceed targets set by 3* and 4* hotels who look for a 70-75% occupancy rate – although weekend occupancy is lower.

Have you stayed in a Preston hotel? What did you think? Do you think the city needs more hotels?

Image credit to Tony Worrall

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