| 8.6°C Belfast

Milton Keynes targeted for new £8.7 million easyHotel site

It will convert part of the Norfolk House building and open the doors to its new hotel by mid-2019.

EasyGroup’s budget hotels business is expanding its portfolio with a new site in Milton Keynes, where it plans to open a new £8.7 million 124-room hotel.

EasyHotel announced on Friday that it has conditionally acquired a 125-year leasehold cover part of Norfolk House in Silbury Boulevard, a central site in the Buckinghamshire town, for an undisclosed sum.

With the development having already received planning permission, it will convert part of the Norfolk House building and open the doors to its new hotel by mid-2019 at a total cost of around £8.7 million.

EasyHotel chief executive Guy Parsons said the concentration of foreign firms and start-ups in the area was a draw for the company.

“We are delighted to have secured this site in Milton Keynes.

“Now in its 50th year, the town is home to many international businesses, has the third highest business start-up rate of any UK city and boasts an impressive range of shopping and leisure facilities.

“This acquisition is part of our ongoing strategy of offering comfortable, affordable accommodation in key tourist and business locations in the UK and internationally, and this completes the deployment of funds from our 2016 equity fundraising and bank loan,” he said.

It follows the opening of a new easyHotel location in Newcastle in December, which the company said was already trading in line with the hotels it opened during the last financial year.

The group now owns seven hotels with 702 rooms, and 19 franchises with a further 1,641 rooms.

Plans are in the works for seven more of its own hotels, with construction having already started in Barcelona, Leeds, Sheffield and Ipswich, all set to open this summer.

Mr Parsons said: “We continue to see a good number of attractive potential development opportunities, both in the UK and Europe to further accelerate the group’s growth.

“These are both larger and more numerous than we had originally anticipated. Consequently, the board is considering its finance options, which may include new equity and debt, to fund more hotels.”