Top brand checks in at Prom hotel

Matthew Stephens of Blackpool Central Hotel, hotel manager Katy Mace and operations sirector of Focus Hotels ,Steven Frewer, outside the new Ibis Styles Hotel.

Matthew Stephens of Blackpool Central Hotel, hotel manager Katy Mace and operations sirector of Focus Hotels ,Steven Frewer, outside the new Ibis Styles Hotel.

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THE future of a historic Blackpool hotel has been secured after a new operator was found.

The 90-bedroom Travelodge in the Grade II listed Clifton Hotel in Talbot Square is now part of the Ibis Styles hotel chain.

Accor, one of the world’s leading hotel operators, which owns the Ibis brand, has entered into a franchise agreement with Blackpool Central Hotel Ltd. The deal safeguards all 20 jobs at the hotel, which has remained open throughout the transition.

Investment will see rooms refurbished to bring them in line with the new brand.

Last August the future of the property was placed in doubt when it was named among 49 hotels which Travelodge wanted to offload as part of a debt refinancing package.

Thomas Dubaere, managing director of Accor UK and Ireland, said: “We are pleased to announce the signing of this new Ibis Styles in Blackpool, one of the UK’s most popular seaside resorts.

“It is another important step towards strengthening Accor’s presence across the UK and executing our asset-light strategy.

“Since the beginning of the year, the number of Ibis Styles franchise agreements has doubled, demonstrating the strength of the brand and its attractiveness to potential franchisees.”

The hotel joins the rapidly growing portfolio of ibis Styles hotels which includes four in London.

The contemporary brand describes itself as “a designer economy brand for business and leisure travellers.”

Matthew Stephens, from Blackpool Central Hotel Ltd, part of Yorkshire-based Brook Leisure, said; “We are delighted to have achieved such a seamless transition between hotel operators.

“It is a real coup to have secured an Ibis Styles hotel as an operator given their scale and expertise.”

Coun Gary Coleman, cabinet member for regeneration on Blackpool Council, said: “We’ve been working closely with the building owners and it is great there has been a positive result.

“It is such an important location in the town centre.”

When Travelodge entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement, the hotel owners, Blackpool Central Hotel Ltd, appointed Focus Hotels Management Ltd to find a new operator.

The hotel has operated at a Travelodge since 2008, following an agreement with Brook Leisure which invested around £9m in restoring the building.

The property also includes the Che Bar on the ground floor, and around £500,000 was spent soundproofing the accommodation above.

Three other Travelodges remain on the Fylde coast – on Balmoral Road, South Shore, and Seasiders Way in Blackpool, and in Clifton Drive South, St Annes.