Second Premier Inn going ahead, but third is on hold

THE construction of a 122-room Premier Inn in Bath Street is progressing as planned despite a downturn in sales for the business and 6,000 planned redundancies across its parent company’s portfolio.

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However, plans for a third hotel in Jersey have been put on hold as demand for rooms dries up globally.

Although only in its initial stages, it was revealed in August that the company had been working with Le Masurier, the development company behind the £70 million Bath Street development, to look for a site to build a new 100-bedroom outlet, which would be their third in Jersey following the Charing Cross development and Bath Street.

Brian McCarthy, chief executive of Le Masurier, said: ‘In short, it is business as usual for the Bath Street site but the dialogue with Premier Inn about a third hotel has now stalled as a consequence.

‘I say stalled, but it is more that discussions have been put on hold as a result of the circumstances in the UK and Jersey. But when a degree of normality returns, there will still be a requirement for a third hotel here, so I am hopeful dialogue will restart.’

The Bath Street development, now known as Merchant’s Square, is due to include 149 apartments, a new pedestrian walkway linking the Millennium Town Park and Halkett Place, along with the 122-bedroom Premier Inn.

And Mr McCarthy added that the project remained on schedule, despite minor delays caused by lockdown, with two blocks of apartments and the hotel due to be complete by October next year.

‘The building is now starting to come out of the ground and in the coming weeks the walls of the hotel will start to become visible over the hoardings,’ Mr McCarthy said.

Alison Brittain, chief executive of Premier Inn’s parent company, Whitbread, said it was hoped most redundancies could be made voluntarily. It is unclear whether the redundancies may affect Jersey staff.

‘With demand for travel remaining subdued, we are now having to make some very difficult decisions, and it is with great regret that today we are announcing our intention to enter into a consultation process that could result in up to 6,000 redundancies in the UK, of which it is hoped that a significant proportion can be achieved voluntarily,’ she said.

‘In line with our longstanding values of treating our people fairly, our priority is now to ensure that this process is clear and transparent for all colleagues and that everyone impacted is supported throughout.’

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