26 hotels opened in Manchester alone between 2013 and 2017
26 hotels opened in Manchester alone between 2013 and 2017

Is there a growing investor appetite for the North West hotel sector?

Manchester has become the UK’s biggest hotel hotspot outside London, according to new figures.

Research from GVA tells us that 26 hotels opened in the city between 2013 and 2017. That’s an opening every two months.

And yet the market is far from saturated, as the city’s growing economy and expanding leisure offer give people a ton of reasons to stay here.

So far this year I’ve reported on a number of hotel sector developments in the city, from international hospitality brands to independents and newbuild schemes to repurposed premises. Here are some you should have on your radar.

Corn Exchange

Aparthotel chain Roomzzz is preparing to open a new venue at Manchester’s Grade II-listed Corn Exchange. When finished, it will represent the completion of a three-year renovation project for the striking city centre property.

Roomzzz Corn Exchange will be the company’s second venue in the city.

I also picked up the story of entrepreneurial couple Mujtaba and Amelia Rana revealing plans for their second hotel in the city, this time in the Spinningfields area.

Their first, The Cow Hollow Hotel, created 12 jobs when it opened in the Northern Quarter earlier this year.

Mujtaba and Amelia Rana

Elsewhere, a dual-branded Staybridge Suites and Crowne Plaza hotel is opening on Oxford Road. It’s set to be a big venue, as its general manager confirmed plans for a four-day X-Factor style audition process to fill around 50 positions.

This included Ready Steady Cook-style auditions to secure staff for The Laureate, an on-site restaurant with 120 covers.

We know from the GVA research that Manchester’s hotel sector is booming, but developments weren’t limited to the city. Individuals and businesses are putting their money behind this sector all over the North West.

Earlier this month, a former Visit England executive based in London bought a hotel in the Lake District.

Philip Nettleton and his wife acquired Rickerby Grange, near Keswick, in an £830k deal – one of several transactions demonstrating a real investor appetite for hotels set within the greenery of the Lakes.

Chester hotel plans designed by Axiom Architects

We also saw work start on a scheme in Chester that was originally approved in 2007, but stalled because of the financial crash.

Manchester-based Craigleith Property Group has since picked it up and breathed new life into the project. Talks are underway to secure a mid-range hotel operator to run it.

I’d be curious now to see how much cash the North West hotel sector generated in recent years, see its growth in quantifiable terms. It’d also be interesting to see the spread of investor money; how Manchester stacks up in comparison to other places in the North West with high visitor traffic.

Have you ever worked on a hotel development in this region? Get in touch with me at richard.bell@bdaily.co.uk, or let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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