TRAVELODGE has written to Dorset’s councils to propose a partnership which would release land for hotels.

The budget hotel chain has three hotels in Bournemouth as well as one each in Poole, Christchurch and Ringwood.

It has written to councils to suggest an “innovative partnership” to support regeneration.

It wants to build on the seven development deals it has done with other local councils over the past three years.

All involved councils releasing their own land, with funding from their own resources, low-cost credit from the Public Works Loan Board or third party funds.

When the hotels are built, councils can keep ownership of the hotel and receive an annual rent, or sell the building with Travelodge as its operator.

Travelodge, which has 550 hotels nationally, intends to add another 200 in the next decade and says working with local authorities is a key element of the plan.

The latest hotel built as a result of a council partnership is at Dudley in the West Midlands, funded by a deal with the borough council and other private sector companies.

Travelodge chief executive Peter Gowers said: “More and more local authorities are under pressure to find ways to help regenerate their historic town centres and local communities.

“Adding a low-cost hotel like Travelodge is an increasingly attractive choice, as it draws visitors, creates jobs and helps boost the local economy.

“Our customers are travelling more frequently and we are opening new hotels to ensure we are in locations where they want to be.

“We are delighted to be working together with forward-thinking local authorities like Dudley Council to help support their regeneration programme with the opening of a new Travelodge.

“We are looking for more sites to drive our expansion programme and today we are writing to more than 200 other local authorities, to invite them to consider how Travelodge can act as a catalyst to drive their local development agenda.”

Travelodge opened a £9.5million hotel last year at Poole’s Lifeboat Quay, creating around 31 jobs. The hotel, its 533rd, has 125 rooms and a bar cafe.

The company announced then it was looking for sites in Bournemouth, Swanage, Shaftesbury, Dorchester and Weymouth, which could generate 200 jobs.

Julian McLaughlin, head of growth and infrastructure at the Borough of Poole, said: “We are delighted that Travelodge, a national hotel chain, invested £8million in their new hotel in Poole last year, demonstrating its confidence in the town as a leisure and tourist destination.

“The council has a positive approach to regeneration and we would be open to discuss any contribution Travelodge, or other hotel operators, feel they could make within the borough.”