100-bed Premier Inn hotel for Hanley 'would create jobs boost'
MORE than 50 jobs would be created as part of plans for a £7 million hotel complex.
Proposals for the 100-bedroom hotel and restaurant in Hanley went on display at the Dudson Centre last night.
Hotel-chain Premier Inn wants to construct a four-storey hotel built alongside a 190-cover Brewers Fayre restaurant on a vacant site in Etruria Road.
And parent company Whitbread hope the scheme will play a key role in helping to boost the economy in Stoke-on-Trent.
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Nick Johnston, acquisition manager at Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said: "Hanley has always been a target town for Whitbread.
"We have had a keen requirement over the years and have finally managed to find a vacant site.
"We hope the development will bring jobs into the area and boost the economy as well as playing a part in the regeneration of the area."
Traders and shoppers have welcomed the plans.
Fifty three-year-old Jill Lawton, landlady at the Unicorn Inn, who lives above the Piccadilly pub, said: "If it brings people back up to the town then that is great.
"We have the theatres in Hanley and having a hotel closer to them would be better because there isn't many places for visitors to stay.
"And not only that but it will benefit other businesses too."
Chef Simon Coggan, aged 30, of Caverswall, said: "With all of the plans for Hanley over the next few years, a new hotel would fit in nicely.
"I think it would make Hanley feel more like a proper city centre which people would actually visit."
But Lee McMain, of Sneyd Green, who runs neighbouring store, The Gold Chain company, believes more needs to be done.
He said: "It is alright building a new hotel, but who is going to stay there? Hanley is dying. Nobody comes into the city because they have no reason to.
"They need to concentrate on a new road layout and free parking before a new hotel is built."
Plans for the Premier Inn complex, which would be built on land next to Storey Carpets, are still in the early stages.
But once an planning application has been submitted, officials at Stoke-on-Trent City Council will make a decision on the development.
However, the authority – which has been working to attract a major hotel chain to the city centre for more than a year – is keen to support an 80-bedroom hotel at Realis Estates' planned City Sentral shopping centre.