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05/Jun/2012 – Has demand from hotel chains gone up in smoke?

posted 5 Jun 2012, 05:48 by Andre Hefer   [ updated 6 Jun 2012, 00:24 ]

Is the District Council’s tourism strategy emerging or submerging?

In March 2011 BSARA wrote to the District Council suggesting that the number of new hotels being planned was unjustified. In reply the District Council said that their “new draft cultural strategy highlights that ‘Lichfield suffers from a limited range of modern hotel and conference facilities to meet the needs of the visitor market

The District Council’s plans for tourism have faced a number of headwinds over the last 18 months. The weak economy and the European debt crises have eroded confidence and made tenants more cautious. Some argue that a more sober assessment has forced all parties to adopt a more realistic attitude to the prospects for our City centre.

The timeline of announcements was as follows:


BSARA suggestions:

  1. Retailers are spoilt for choice because many alternative sites exist regionally. Don’t assume tenants are willing to fund infrastructure improvements for problems that exist today. They could just go elsewhere;

  2. Lets have some sensible ideas for what to do with surplus office/retail space – Kwik Save, Guardian House & Lichfield Police Station (the Friarsgate development agreement runs out by the end of the year);

  3. Lets encourage high density homes, close to the City centre. Over the last 10 years high streets have lost 1% of retail spending every year. This trend is likely to continue. Lets put people back into our City centre and stop measuring success by the floor space of sites with planning permission.

Aug/09: 60 bed hotel on ex Kwik Save site?
Kwik Save, former cinema
Source:
Lichfield Live 29/Aug/09
MP gives cautious welcome to new hotel plan
April/11: Friarsgate hotel approved
Friarsgate with hotel artists impression
Source:
Express & Star 05/Apr/11
Go ahead for Friarsgate's next phase
Oct/11: Travelodge commit to Friary Outer
Friary Outer with Travelodge signage
Source:
Lichfield Live 04/Oct/11
Travelodge signs up to operate new Lichfield hotel