Whitbread has announced the reopening of 35 construction sites across England and Wales, citing a renewed focus on “safely” continuing its work towards a pipeline of new hotels.
The sites in question include a series of newbuild hotels led by Whitbread’s in-house construction team and external development partners. The group will also resume work on extensions to existing Premier Inn sites.
The pipeline sites will account for more than 4,500 Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn rooms, and are scheduled to open from 2020, up until the end of the 2022-23 financial year.
The Premier Inn owner said that its development team has been working alongside construction partners in recent weeks in order to implement additional safety measures on construction sites.
The measures, that aim to protect site workers and the general public, as well as enforce social distancing, will follow the latest government and Construction Leadership Council guidelines.
Whitbread will also prepare to resume work at its four construction sites in Scotland, after the Scottish government moved into the first phase of its reopening plan on 28 May.
The group said that it plans to resume construction work in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Thurso later this month “once the Scottish government confirms it is safe to do so”.
Alex Flach, UK development director at Whitbread, said: “The health and safety of our workers and the local communities where we work is always our top priority, and this is more essential now than ever.
“The UK government and the devolved administrations have been clear that construction activity is vital for the economy to bounce back.”
He added: “So, we have been focusing on putting in place additional controls at Whitbread-owned sites and working closely with our external development partners to ensure we can operate safely and in line with latest industry guidance.
“Despite the challenges currently facing the hospitality industry, our ambition to continue to grow the Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn brands has not changed.”
Whitbread opened more than 2,300 new Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn bedrooms in the UK during the 2019-20 financial year, expanding its total national network to 821 hotels.
The group is continuing to grow its estate, with more than 13,000 bedrooms in its secured development pipeline in the UK and Ireland.