Budget hotel brand Travelodge wants to partner up with Halton Council to open a new site in Runcorn.

The move would be part of a funding model the company has rolled out with other councils, which has seen hotels built on surplus local authority land. Under the scheme, funding for construction is then provided either from the council's own budget, or from the Public Works Loan Board - a Treasury cash pot which provides loans to councils at cheaper rates - or from third party sources.

When a hotel is built, the council could then choose to either retain ownership and receive an annual rent or sell it back to Travelodge.

The company said it is now embarking on a major expansion programme and has targeted Runcorn as one of two new possible sites in Cheshire, along with Knutsford, which it claims would create around 50 jobs. And it has now written to Halton and Cheshire East councils about a joint working arrangement.

Steve Bennett, Travelodge Chief Property and Development Officer at the company, said: “In the current climate, local authorities are under extreme pressure to invest in their economy and support regeneration projects.

"This is why we have written  to these two local authorities in Cheshire to offer our support as we have a requirement to open two Travelodge hotels across the region.

"This expansion programme could represent a multi-million investment for third party investors and create 50 new jobs.

"In addition, our research shows that, on average, Travelodge customers will spend at least double their room rate with local businesses during their stay; this can be an annual, multi-million pound boost into each local economy.”

The company owns 600 hotels including 16 in Cheshire.  In 2022, Travelodge opened six new hotels, three of which were local authority partnerships with two hotels located in London at Docklands and Wimbledon and the third hotel situated in Braintree. The group is also currently on site with construction of two further Travelodge hotels being delivered in direct partnership with Local Authorities in Rotherham and Colchester.

The Rotherham Travelodge is the group’s first hotel in Rotherham and it is also the first branded hotel in the town centre. For Colchester, it is the group’s second Travelodge hotel.