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Article by The Echo: Budget hotel chain Travelodge is looking to open in Southend and Billericay.

The company has written to both Southend and Basildon councils, asking them to work with the chain to thrash out development plans.

It is looking for the authorities to borrow cash to set up development sites that could feature a variety of leisure outlets and restaurants, with Travelodge looking to take the lease of one of those buildings.

The hotel chain has used this approach with councils in previous developments in Bicester, Thetford, and Redhill with the investment totalling £11million.

Although no firm plans are in place, Southend Council has previously stated the need for the town to have more hotel beds.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Graham Longely, deputy leader of Southend Council"]Southend is open for business and innovative ideas. We have a pipeline of exciting regeneration projects in partnership with the private sector that will benefit the local community. While we welcome any approaches to do business in the town, there is nothing currently planned with Travelodge at this time.[/quote]

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Phil Turner, the leader of Basildon Counci"]If there was a good business case there may be an opportunity to take things forward. But when we are dealing with taxpayers’ money we need to be very careful and our caution level at Defcon One. There are no Travelodges or budget hotels in Billericay, but as I said, we’d need to be very careful using ratepayers’ cash.[/qupte]

Travelodge insists it has done its market research and has identified a need for beds in both Southend and Billericay. On average, its hotels bring about 20 to 25 jobs to the local economy, depending on the size of the building.

It never builds its own hotels, but leases the buildings it runs.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Peter Gowers, Travelodge chief executive"]There is considerable growth opportunity for Travelodge in Southend and in Billericay, and we look forward to adding hotels to our portfolio in these locations.[/quote]

Article and image from The Echo

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