Luxury hotel at Inverness will offer ‘social benefits’

Published on : Friday, May 19, 2017

Inverness luxury hotelA brand new hotel is being planned for a completely vacant plot at Inverness Campus with an aim to deal with the shortage of beds inside the city.


It has been confirmed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) that it is getting ready to start marketing this site that is quite close to the headquarters of the agency as well as the Inverness College UHI.


For the purpose of this development, four and five-star hotel operators are being sought. And, it has been revealed that this development would also offer certain ‘social benefits’. It seeks to hear proposals from the hotel industry to achieve this goal.


This might include training opportunities for young people and also those from underprivileged backgrounds.


But then, the agency needs to be cautious in order to avoid contravening state aid rules that check the governments distorting competition and trade by intervening in markets. The board members of HIE have recently agreed to the main principles of the plan, stating that the concept would be ‘challenging’ and might ‘take time’ to deliver.


A fully developed proposal is believed to be taken back to future meeting of the board of the agency.


Last night, a spokesman of HIE said that they intend to ensure that the hotel development opportunity would result in several social benefits in sync with the vision of the Campus. The social benefit is likely to be in the form of placement opportunities and training options as well, for young people and disadvantaged groups.


To help deliver this plan as a portion of the bidding process, they would be seeking fresh ideas from the hotel sector.


The figures supplied by HIE portray that Inverness is the third busiest city in Europe in terms of hotel occupancy rates at 82.4% behind only Dublin and Glasgow. This figure had reached its peak at 91.9% in July 2015.


The hotel sector has seen certain developments in recent weeks.


This is because Travelodge has confirmed plans for a £4.4 million, 54-bed facility at Ballantyne House that is situated in Academy Street earlier this month.



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